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!