Last weekend my indefatigable cousin Earl, who is training for the Big Sur Marathon, said he would be running 14 miles today (Saturday). I said I might tag along but I wanted to see how the week went. Well, it went like this: I had a great 6 mile run on Monday, rested Tuesday and Wednesday, ran the same 6 miles Thursday with great effort, and rested Friday. However, the real wild card was whether or not I would be able to behave on Friday night (last night) before the run. You see, my gracious aunt and uncle Patty and Dan offered to take our boys overnight on Friday. A Friday night without the children at home is a very rare occurrence, and typically my favorite way to spend it is to drink way too much and play music until I can no longer stand. For those who know me, when i say “play music” I do not mean that I press “play” on the stereo. Rather, I physically play guitar and sing original songs and play harmonica and electric guitar and, if the wife is feeling it, I get her to sing too. I cherish these opportunities, since they are rare. So on Friday I had to make a decision about my high contrast life. Stay up late, get drunk, and play music until the wee hours, or be good and go on a 14 mile training run the next morning. Well, I chose the latter. But I wasn’t necessarily good. Melanie and I went downtown to have drinks for a friends birthday and I did have a few beers. And then I came home and really wanted to drink more beer and stay up til 3 am playing music but instead I…made a great tempeh and kale stir-fry and went to bed. YES!
So this morning my brother Jed and Earl met me at 8 am at my place and we set off. I decided on the route, which was mostly trails. So we ran to the San Luis Mountain trailhead and ran around the mountain and down to Laguna Lake Park to Madonna Road, which we took until it dead-ended at the Froom Ranch trailhead. None of us had ever been on Froom Ranch trails before, and we got lost a couple of times. But we found our way to the Johnson Ranch connector trail and finally to the Johnson Ranch trailhead parking lot. By then we had been running for 2:30 and had covered 12.2 miles. And we were done.
It was a really fantastic run. First of all, I cannot express how amazing it is to be able to walk out my front door, access a trailhead just 1/2 mile away, and run 12 miles, 11 of which are on trails. For someone like me, who prefers trails, that is amazing. Also, even though we only ran 12.2 miles at a pace just under 13 minutes per mile, we did some serious climbing. I think we climbed around 1,900 ft. during the run. I am going to go on a limb and say that if I could translate todays run to roads, then we likely could have run closer to 15 or 16 miles. Of course, that is little consolation considering we would still need to cover 10 more miles after that to finish a marathon. It is little consolation because I was DONE. And I had issues. I had a blister on my left foot and nipple chafing and I was out of water. But for now I think I will focus on the success, the fact that we made it and the fact that I only started training 11 days ago for a marathon and I was able to get halfway there today. Yay.
So the plan is to rest tomorrow and go see Band of Skulls in concert. I will see how I feel on Monday and hopefully get back to it then. I think I will try to tackle 15 miles one week from today. And I continue to eat vegan. It has been 7 days, and I will stick to it for awhile. I feel good. Well, I actually feel exhausted right now, but today’s result gives me hope.