July 29, 2009 Marathon Training Update

Milestone run on Sunday July 26th…39 miles straight!  Woohoo!  It was a great morning for running that turned into a great afternoon for running.  I started at 7:15 a.m. with best friends Jim and David.  We hit the trail and got started pretty good but before we even got to mile 5, I was feeling exhausted.  There was a reason for that though.

On Saturday morning I ran 18 miles of hill training, in the rain…hadn’t planned on the rain!  In the same evening I ran 10 miles easy with Rachel.  So, I had a lot of miles going into Sunday morning for the purpose of seeing how I would do running on tired legs.  Yes, I did it on purpose and boy did I learn something!  I thought I would be able to handle this just fine.  I was actually shooting for 45 miles Sunday morning and hoping for doing it in a time of 7:00 hours.  Didn’t even come close!

Like I said, around mile 5, I was whipped.  I had to let Jim and David run on ahead without me.  There was no keeping up.  I walked a bit and got going again but I knew there was no way I was going fast.  So, I stopped watching the clock for the most part and just kept it going.  I stopped for water and food every 5-10 miles which helped of course.  I’m learning to eat while on the run and that has gone pretty well so far.  I’ve tried bananas, trail mix, bagels, power bars, and gels.  Next is PBJ!

At mile 22 I stopped for water and food again and to say goodbye to Jim and David as they had to get back to family and church.  It was pretty normal as far as goodbyes go…”See ya,” “Later Dude,” that sort of thing.  However, after I got started back on the trail, it seemed all my strength was gone. I just could not get it going so I walked a good portion of the next 5 miles.  This was not good!  I thought of my Honorees, especially Brandon and Dee.  Brandon has passed but when it gets tough, I can feel him running along side of me and lending me his strength.  Dee called last week to tell me she was going in to have 6 tumors removed and ask if I would add her to the Honoree list.  Of course I would, especially for a best friend that always has a smile for me. 

Thinking of them helped but it was still tougher than I thought it should be.  I was getting worried and started doubting my training plan and myself.  Then I thought of the mountain and leading in the moment; the previous post.  I had to become as strong as I know I am and lose the negative thoughts.  “I can do this,” became my mantra… “We can do this,” became our mantra, our mojo, me and Brandon and Dee.  “We can do this right now!”

I was finding strength to finish this run, some strength and inner peace.  Next water stop I decided to take a few minutes longer to rest.  I ate an extra power bar and drank an extra gatorade.  I visualized the mountain and all its strength and nobility.  I also sat in the car air conditioning for 10 minutes!  LOL!  That did the trick!  I got back on the trail and my strength seemed to come back a little more.  The next 5-6 miles were better and the next 5 after that were much better.  I was pumped!  I kept visualizing even as I ran.  Calm, strength, power, determination, it was all in me.  I kept on going.

I wasn’t going to make my goal of 45 miles in 7 hours on tired legs but I figured 39 in 7:13 was pretty good.  In any case it was, and is, a definite PR.  Even more, Jim came back after church and brought me breakfast!  He and his wife Christine, who thinks I’m crazy for running so much, made me eggs, bacon and pancakes.  I have to say that was the best breakfast I’ve had in a long time!  I was famished and sick of bananas and trail mix and they came through for me.  Thank you Jim and Christine!!

1 comment

  1. You ROCK Ernie!!! Your determination and stamina amazes me! What a wonderful thing you are doing for all of your honorees.

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