Thursday, November 26, 2009

Accidental 20 and Other Happenings

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope your day is filled with good food and enjoyable conversation as you appreciate all we have to be thankful for.

I've been "staying off the couch" with regular running and some cycling as the weather in Florida has cooled a bit. I'm not training for any particular event, but keep a regular schedule to maintain some base fitness. On a recent weekend a number of runners from our Saturday morning group were doing a long run in preparation for the Space Coast Marathon and I decided to come out and support them during the early morning segment.

My original plan was to run from 3:30am to 5:30am and then do a bike ride with a friend later that morning. After I had already committed to the early run start, my bike ride fell through and I decided to complete the entire long run with the group. We ran 10.5 miles in the first 2 hours and then picked up the 5:30am crew who joined for the remaining run to get to 20 miles. I really do enjoy running with the group! The conversation and distractions make the miles go by quickly and everyone provides encouragement to anyone who needs a boost to push through to the finish. The Space Coaster's did great and put their fitness to the test this coming weekend. Go Matt, Mark and Rhonda! We celebrated with pumpkin pancakes and 1,000 calorie muffins at Mimi's Cafe. I'm pretty sure we put back all the calories we burned that morning, but it was good.

On Sunday of that same weekend, I did get my bike ride in too! My son and I went for a 15 mile ride on the trail near our home. We bought a new road bike as an early Christmas present and we've been our a few times to get prepped for the annual Mid-Florida MS Bike charity ride coming up in May. More on the MS Ride later. We rode short and fast and on the way back to our house, I received a text message from my friend John who was free to ride at 9:30am. I got back to the house, had some breakfast and headed out to meet John for the second ride of the morning.

John does nothing at a leisurely pace and this is especially true on the bike. We decided on a 40 mile ride on the trail, trading the lead every mile. As is typical for our trail, we encountered a nice headwind which made the ride challenging on the way out, but we sustained a good pace between 18-21 mph. John made it perfectly clear that there would be no "squeaking" or complaining on this ride, regardless of the previous days accidental 20 mile run. We turned around after 20 miles and a quick sprint up the overpass (Florida hills) and started back down the trail.

As is also customary on this trail, you never have a tailwind. We were both looking forward to cranking out the second half of the ride with the wind at our backs, but were quickly disappointed to learn that we only had a stiff crosswind to push us sideways. Arghh. John enforced the no "squeaking" rule and we made good time on the way back and it felt good to ride hard and to be pushed by John as I get back on the bike.

John is not known for his encouraging words, but he prefers to motivate through tough love. Our ride was no exception as he reminded me that the 20 mile run from Saturday was no reason to ease up the pace. I occasionally receive shouts of "encouragement" from John as I run in the neighborhood. This typically comes in the form of a shout of "Slacker!" from his car window as he drives by. It's just one small part of the support structure in an active lifestyle and it always makes me smile.

That's all for now. Dave