Monday, May 18, 2009

Long Run & First Bike Outdoors

(I know I'm a little late in writing this...)

It was a good training weekend for me. Saturday, the weather was cool and windy. (Again). The temperature was good for running, but I just couldn't bear to run my normal running route with the wind. I decided to head over to Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve for a change of scenery and some protection from Mother Nature's wind. My friend, Jeff, decided to run with me (he's had signed up for a 1/2 Mary). With not much miles under his belt for the year, and the race only weeks away, he figured he'd ought to "get going" with his training.

We started out on the trail and to my delight, I reveled in the breezy but not windy conditions. The trees were standing tall guarding us against the wind. I wanted to hug them all. The path was crushed gravel/limestone which also seemed easier on the legs. Jeff and I began and unfortunately, at 3/4 mile, Jeff had to slow down to a walk. He was breathing heavy and totally unconditioned for the run. I was surprised; I thought he would have been able to pull off a few miles before walking. He urged me to continue on without him and so off I went.

Of course, my heart rate shot up into the 160's and bounced up and down between 163 and 177 with a max of 185. Oh my heart. An 11 minute mile was about all I could I kept with it, not daring to go much faster. I ran to the 3.25 mile point, where the path was flooded from the previous days' rain. At that point, turning around seemed like a good idea. I walked for about 2 minutes and downed a GU and some water. That's the first time I had tried a gel of any sort. It really wasn't too bad. I started running back and eventually ran into Jeff coming the other direction. He told me both his calves were cramping up on him. Ouch! I told him to keep drinking his water and to walk. Again, he urged me on and away I went.

I got to the starting point and was a 1/2 mile shy of 7 miles. Again, I turned around to so as to complete the 7. I was proud of my run and did a solid 11 minute mile pace. I met up with Jeff and we walked back to the start of the trail.

That evening, I picked up my brother, Keith, from O'Hare; he lives in Connecticut and came in to town for my Aunt's funeral. My Aunt Maddie had past away the Wednesday before. She was a wonderful, full-of-life, feisty type of woman. She always had a smile on her face and a joke to tell. Aunt Maddie will be missed.

I had arranged to borrow a bike, helmet and shoes from my friend Jeff so that Keith could ride with Waddler and I and the Lifetime Fitness Group on Sunday morning (my first outside ride of the year). We bundled up (another cool and windy day) and rode to the meet-up site (less than a mere mile from my house). Keith asked me about the terrain of the course we would be taking and asked if we had any hills. I laughed. "Not exactly, Keith. It's pancake flat with a few minscule hills. But watch out for the wind. No matter what direction you go, you'll feel like you are in a headwind or cross wind." As we were riding to the start, Keith exclaims "Boy, you weren't kidding about the wind!". I yell out "Yeah, and it really isn't that bad today."

The group decided to break up into two groups; the advanced group was going to do 35 miles at a faster pace and the second group was going to do 14 miles at a slower pace. Waddler and I were in a pickle, neither group sounded right for us. We chose the 35 mile group as did my brother Keith. Keith "said" he just wanted to hang with me and Waddler. But as soon as the advance riders got going, Keith shot out like a cannon and held tight to the lead group. Waddler and I on the other hand didn't fair so well. After I had to stop and check a tire, we were dropped from the group rather fast. See ya Keith!

After Waddler and I took a wrong turn, we made an executive decision to shorten the ride and do our own thing. We actually did get a tail wind at one point but then turned around for a brutal headwind. Our ride ended up being 26 miles long. Boy, I felt beat up. I better get used to it...I've got a long training season a head of me.

Keith came rolling in shortly after with a big grin on his face. He was so happy that he was able to keep up with the lead group. I asked him how the ride was. He replied "It's different...I'm so used to rolling hills and a lot less wind." Welcome to Illinois Keith.

At the visitation and funeral (Monday and Tuesday) for my Aunt Maddie, we saw many of our relatives. Keith chose this opportunity to tell everyone that he "dropped" his sister on our bike ride. He was very proud of that fact. Thanks Keith, thanks alot.

I know his "bragging" was all in fun. I'm glad he got to ride with us and experience a little of the mid-west riding.
Last night (Wednesday), Waddler, IronSnoopy (it was great to see you), and I went to the Glen Ellyn Runners club meeting. We met Snips and Moose there. Although, I not exactly training for a marathon, I thought it would be a good idea to join the club for the camaradie and support during the long runs.
Beach2Battleship Triathlon Half Distance is full...but there is still room for the Full-Iron Distance for any takers!

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