5:50 a.m. and the alarm clock sounds. It is a holiday weekend, but for a distance runner in Texas this time of year, there is a price to pay for sleeping in. Even at 6:00 a.m. the temperature is already a steamy 77 degrees. We have a 12-mile long run on the schedule hanging on the door of the “magic fridge” and this is not a run to skip. So I hop out of bed, get Kayla started with her first trip outside of the day and her treat and get ready to knock out one final run.
20 weeks ago the Run for Dom training cycle began with a 3 mile run on December 28th in 32 degree temperatures. 83 Runs, 47 triathlon bike rides, 1,293 training miles, 1 half marathon, 2 full marathons, a mile race and $27,292.74 dollars raised for Dom’s family had been achieved up to that alarm clock going off. All that was left was my final 12-mile training run.
“12″ is the distance that I like to run 4 Sundays after a marathon letting me know that my body is recovered, my fitness level is sound and I can basically go anywhere I want from here. Another Marathon? I could be ready in maybe 8 weeks. A half-marathon? No problem, is there a race next weekend? Time for some speed training? Hills? Tempo Runs? It’s all in play as essentially I am ready to ramp either up or down from that 12-mile distance.
Sunday’s run was uneventful on a hot Austin morning. I made sure to bring my hydrabelt with me topped off with two 10 oz. water bottles. Over the course of 90 minutes and 59 seconds I would drink both bottles and still lose 4 lbs. according to my bathroom scale. It was hot out there – but it felt great to let the miles tick by and think a bit about all of the ground we covered in the last twenty weeks.
The last 5 months was a pretty remarkable “run” for sure. Sunday’s run was a fitting workout, both enjoyable but very challenging at the same time due to the elements. We mixed in some hills to make it tough at the end – just the way I like it.
I was hoping to come in right at 90 minutes (7:30 pace) this morning – but as the hills and heat started to get to me, I decided to slow my pace a bit and enjoy the final 5 miles of the run. No sense to push pace just to post a 7:30 this morning, 7:34 would do just fine. Monday (Memorial Day) will be a true rest day for me – no running, no cycling – possibly a strength training session – but no cardio work.
There will be one more task on the to-do list however, and that is to map out the next 90 Days of training. We’ve got three weeks until the Holland, TX 5K on June 19th – which will be a race we take somewhat seriously. One year ago I was able to set my PR at the 5K distance and take home my first (and only) first place age group trophy of my running “career”. It was a hot, hot day last June when I was able to post my 19:43 time and I am hoping that training in these hot conditions the next three weeks will again prove to be helpful come race day.
Tuesdays and Thursdays will be dedicated to tempo work and hill repeats during this next 90 days, with a “Naked Wednesday” run stuck in the middle. Saturdays will be an “easy” day – maybe just 5-6 miles with my Sunday runs alternating between 8, 10 and 12 miles throughout the summer months. These next 90-days will also map out the remaining time Dawn and I have left awaiting the arrival of our daughter Landry.
Sure to be an exciting time for both of us – although I’m sure Dawn was wishing this final trimester was not going to be full of 95+ degree days.
Finishing off Sunday’s final Run for Dom workout was bittersweet. Normally I like to immediately cross off a tough workout as I grab my water bottle out of the “magic fridge” when I get back home from my run. But I let the final square go “uncolored” throughout the day Sunday as a reminder that we still have some unfinished business when it comes to our Run for Dom goals.
Yes we reached our fundraising goal through the help of a lot of amazing friends both old and new – but our true goal, our credo if you will, was to “Kick Cancer’s Ass 26.2 Miles at a Time.”
As Dom prepares for another round of chemotherapy this Wednesday, it is clear that we haven’t quite gotten there yet. So for now we’ll leave that final square on our RFD schedule clear. We’ll have plenty of time to fill that one in later, when we’ve made it all the way to the end.