Monday, July 03, 2006

Mind Games and Body Aches

It Monday morning and I'm sitting here catching up on email and blogs. I have the day off; thank you big corporate America. This weekend was a long and I'm tired.

On Saturday morning I volunteered at the 2nd Annual Villa Park Red White and Blue Freedomfest 5K (that sure is a long name for a short race). The RD is a member of the 642 group that the CA Cruisers run with often. I helped register runners on race day. There were 115 preregistered runners and we signed in another 110 or so that morning. The race is a very old fashioned grass roots affair. All finisher got a tshirt and medal, but there are not official times or age group awards. The first three male and females got a pretty substantial place/medal. Some Mom took on the responsibility of calling out finishing times. My friend Jesse came in 4th for the men behind a high school kid, Matt, John from the 642 group and another guy that was somewhere in 30-40 age group. I handed out water to the runners as they crossed the finish line. It is so cool to watch a race from this vantage point. The various emotions on people's faces runs the gamut from pleasure to pain. Boy was it hot out there, too.

My weekend scheduled called for 10 miles on Saturday and 4 on Sunday. I planned on getting my run in after my volunteer duties. I drove over to Riverdale Park on the Santa Ana River Trail and headed south. I was hoping to take advantage of the shade. There was some but not enough. It was 9:00 by the time I got started and hot. My intention was to get the 10 miler out of the way today. When I hit the 2 mile mark I decided to turn around and be satisfied with 4 today. I could always put in the 10 on Sunday morning. I promised myself I would get started earlier trying to beat the heat. On the way back I realized that with all this rationalizing and procrastination, I was sounding like my sons. I wondered if they picked this up from me?

I spent the rest of the day in the heat (OK, now I'm whining and really starting to sound like the boys) getting the back yard ready for a pool party we were having on Sunday. I mowed, edged, trimmed hedges, moved every piece of furniture twice, swept and hosed all afternoon and into the evening. I did manage to take a short break to shower and get to Saturday evening church to hear one of the younger pastors give a message on Hebrews 12:1-3. Coincidental? These passages have inspired a few runners of a certain faith, I am sure.

Sunday morning I woke up at the crack dawn, OK it was already 6:00 a.m. When I woke up my left knee hurt and my right hamstring was tight. I thought this is going to be a fun 10 miles. I drove over the the San Gabriel River Trail. This is the bike trail I run often after work. I realized Sunday morning that I have always referred to this trail by the wrong name. The trail is the San Gabriel River Trail (I saw a sign I've apparently missed for 3 years), the dam is the Santa Fe Dam, so I assumed it was the Santa Fe River. I guess not.

My plan was to do two out and back sections. From where I parked the trail only goes north 2.5 miles, this is my favorite part of the trail. I headed off south to save my favorite part for last. I went out 3 and turned around. My knee and hamstring actually felt pretty good. My right heel was bothering me though. When I neared the 6 mile mark, almost to the car, I began to rationalize that I could stop here. I really didn't need the extra 4 as far as marathon training went. I also remembered a show I had seen last weekend on FitTV about the triathalon. They said that the difference between athletes at any ability level is nutrition and mental toughness. I decided I couldn't lose this mental battle today so I continued past the car and made the other four miles. I finished off the 10 in 1:24 or 8:24 pace.

I made it home in time for a quick breakfast and a shower and back off to church with the family to hear Jim "The Rookie" Morris speak. I've never seen the movie based on his story. He was a great speaker with a great message about chasing your dreams. He had some other great points about treating people well, being a positive role model for the younger generation and being a person of integrity. Good stuff.

Later that afternoon, we hosted a pool party for about 30 people, families from our Friday Night Bible Study group. Where else but southern California would you celebrate the 4th of July weekend with carne asada, rice and beans! It was a great time of food, fun, friends and fellowship. After the last people left and we cleaned up, I sat down and almost immediately fell asleep in front of the TV.

Its now Monday morning. I'm still tired but awake. I've caught up on the computer world and have iced my heel. I hope to spend the rest of the day off my feet as much as possible.

Happy 4th of July to all. I hope you can fly the flag proudly, watch a parade and celebrate the freedom we enjoy here in the Good Old US of A!


Juls said...

Darrell, I am tired just reading your post. Don't forget to get some rest too. You have to return to work soon.

robtherunner said...

Great way to wrap up the training with a 10 miler out on the trails. Get some rest now and I will see you this weekend.

Robb said...

I like how Eugene Peterson spins out Hebrews 12:1-3: "Do you see what this means - all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running - and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed - that exhilarating finish in and whith God - he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he's 'there', in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!"

Have a great trip and run a good race Darrell.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

whew, sounds exhausting! happy fourth

Island Girl Runs said...

Hello there. I came to your blog via RobbRunner. I am so with you on the heat issue (and the procrastination issues as well). Here in Alberta, I ran on Sunday with hubby by my side on the bike - it was only 9:30 a.m. and the temp. was already up there around 26 C - don't know what that is fareinheit, but pretty dang hot for early in the day.

I look for shade in all my runs - recently I've decided to suck it up most mornings and run before work - getting up at 5:00 a.m. is nasty, but what a great sense of accomplishment when the run is done. Evenings can be about walking the dog - or sitting in a cool basement watching the TV shows I didn't watch last winter.

I am also running without a watch this summer, as I am not doing any really hard training. It was kind of wierd at first, but I'm pretty used to it now.

Mike said...

Darrell- great post. Sounds like you had an awesome 4th. I can totally relate to the rationalizing on cutting runs short (especially when you are running right by your car)...always nice when you can quiet those voices in your head and keep pushing!

Rae said...

Good luck at Seafair!! You are going to do GREAT!

Celeste said...

Well, Darrell, I just checked it out and the forecast for Bellevue: a pleasant 78F as the high on Sunday. This means your run during the morning hours should be quite nice! So fun that it is only a few days away!

Those verses from Hebrews should serve as a great reminder of setting your sight on Him! What an awesome prize to run for :)

I am so anxious to hear how you do, Mr. Sub-4!

Good luck, Darrell!!!!!

Joe said...

Darrell, all the taper stuff sounds right on track...even to the sore heal and mental games.

Have a wonderful marathon! I look forward to the report! The passage from Hebrews is indeed appropriate!!