Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Big Training Run

This is a personal recollection of pretty much everything I did in preparation for my 20 mile training run earlier today. Enjoy, I find it amusing. Running used to be very simple for me. Throw on some clothes and walk over to the nuclear assembly building that was home to LCU's recreation facility. Run for 30 minutes on a treadmill, use an elliptical/stair climber/stationary bike for 15-20 minutes and then walk back to my dorm feeling awful because I was so out of shape aerobically. Now I go through all this:

Last night I trimmed my toe nails and carb loaded with my favorite pasta and beverage and made sure to get some extra calories with Ben and Jerry. I made sure to get my beauty sleep and stayed in bed in and out of sleep until 11am. When I arose, I began guzzling water followed by consuming a 20g protein bar. Then was the stress of checking the weather and deciding what to wear. 5 years ago it would have been a t-shirt and a pair of generic basketball shorts. Now I have an overflowing box of technical wicking fabrics of all colors and from many events. I chose thigh length tights, asic warm-up pants (the ones I muddied yesterday on a 10 mile bike ride), and my OKC long sleeve tee. I chose thin double layer polyester blend socks, superfeet berry insoles, Asics gel Kayano sneaks, garmin 305 training partner, iPod, Cliff black cherry Shot Blocks, GU Roctane blueberry pomegranate and vanilla orange, ID and cell phone and of course a University of Texas hat to top things off. I applied Body Glide to shoulders, inner thighs (think Juno) and feet. I ate an English muffin with preserves and a glass of vanilla chai and soy protein. And as I finished my drink, mentally preparing, the time was coming. It was 12:40pm. 20 miles needed to be conquered.
I put my shoes on and fastened my Garmin watch. Something felt wrong with my shoes and it dawned on me as I stood outside stretching my calves, I had forgotten to put the superfeet in my shoes and I didn't have a sock liner in them yet either. Good thing I realized that before going anywhere. So I walked back in to correct that glitch. I went back outside powering on the training partner and realizing that the sun was out and as I began to jog away from the house, my cell phone and iPod bouncing in my asics pocket that I would do better with shorts on a day like today. So back I went into the house to put on shorts and repack my electronics and fuel into a waist pack (not to be mistaken for a fannie pack).
Now it was 1pm and I really needed to get going. So I did. I ran 5 miles to Caribou in Wheaton for some water and fuel. Then I ran 5 miles to I-355 and ate more fuel, without water (the fountains haven't been turned on yet). At mile 12, I really needed to find water so I made an unexpected stop at the Glen Elyn Starbucks. Then it was off to Wheaton to stop in at Caribou for the final H2O and fuel break at mile 15. I ran along Main in West Chicago across 59 to the Burger King because I learned years ago, in Manhattan, that you can find Dr. Pepper on fountain there, even in the North. Success. I arrived at BK right at 20 miles, got a large DP and called my Kansas City buddy Rachel because I first talked to her last year after my 20 miler.
Upon arriving at home, I put on a kettle of water to boil and located my Epsom salt. I was going to have a hot soak in the bath. Maybe I should have had an ice bath for inflammation but I was happier taking some meds for that and enjoying a pleasant bath. I drank more protein stuff and watched the ER finale while cooking some mashed potatoes.
Now I'll end my day reading some Theroux, hoping that my feet and knees will feel like working tomorrow. At least I'll be around people who know well the feeling of recovering from a difficult workout.

So yeah, that's how to run 20 miles. Now you try....