...that's how i got through my 20-miler yesterday; well that and a lot of breaks.
The run was scheduled for 6:15am--way too early with Daylight Saving Time, but I made it. Well sort of. I talked to Bee on the cell, and I told her to get started without me. Nattie and Greg were also there waiting for me.
When I got to the park at 6:30, it was still way dark and cold. I started on the dirt trail heading to Peters Cyn, keeping a close eye on my Garmin. I figure I should try to keep it at 140bpm. That's the recommended rate for my age based on the Mafettone method for base training. I think my range is about 140-145.
About a mile and a quarter into the run, I got a call from Bee. "Where are you?," her inquiring mind wanted to know. Greg got on the phone, and right away he spots me down in the canyon. He tells me to look up on the hill. So I did. Silhouetted against the early dawn sky, were three figures running free on the ridge line. It was a great image--you know, the kind that they use on those motivational posters--very Tony Robbinesque.
I met up with them when they got down the hill, and shortly after we rendezvoused with Skip in the lot on the opposite side of the park from where I started. Bee wanted to use Skip's blue ball (yeah I know what you're thinking--it's an 8-lb. medicine ball with handles). No sooner had we started on our run and we were taking turns carrying it. We looped around the park and the lake then went up and down the ridge to see Greg, Nattie and Bee off. Skip and I jogged back to his car aka the GT SAG. We threw the ball in the back, refilled my bottle, got some Gu and just shot the breeze for a good 20 min. Skip drove off, and I was alone, back on my run.
When I got back to the car, I'd completed about 13 miles. I refueled with some ice cold water, a PB&J sandwich, some Crank Gel, and nice cold orange slices. I must've eaten and drank too much and too fast 'cause I was feeling pretty bloated after that. I probably spent about 10 minutes at my "aid station," but I was ready to do another 7 mile loop to complete my target mileage of 20.
My iPod shuffle, a run in with some folks from my hiking group, and monitoring my heart rate kept me company for the duration of the run. I remembered Pink Fuzzy's advice:
"Slow and steady, that's how it goes! All you have to do is show up, smile, eat a gu and keep moving..."
And so it was slow and mostly steady, while smiling and greeting every passing runner, walker and cyclist on the trail. I finished my run--all 20.04 miles with an average HR of 146bpm.