I set the alarm for 4:20 AM this past Saturday to get up and run 30 miles. I was fortunate enough that the alarm wasn't necessary - my daughter woke me around 3:50 AM - she called my name wanting some company. I snuggled her back to sleep and figured I would shut off the alarm and be on my way. After some coffee and waffles, 'nature' had not yet beckoned - which I had hoped would have happened prior to leaving the house. I figured there was no sense waiting around for that to happen - not too many spectators at that hour on a Saturday morning.
It was a beautiful morning, crisp enough for toque and gloves - but the star of the show was a huge almost full yellow moon hovering over the trees. I set off for a few laps close to home in case the bio-break set in early. The neighbors have a large dog, but not that large and probably doesn't use TP. After a few laps, I set off towards Magnetic Hill to see the sun rise over the city. A nice surprise on the way up was a fox joining me for a portion of the run from a short distance in the field. I crested the top of the concert site just as the sun came up over the horizon - makes getting up at 4AM worth every minute.
Next up was Mapleton Park. A nice set of trails that I could fully take advantage of now that I purchased a Garmin GPS watch. I could deviate from a measured route to explore the park and still keep track of my distance. I found several new trails I didn't know existed and got to see a crane taking off from a perfectly still pond. There were lots of ducks, chipmunks, squirrels and even a pheasant up and about but no sign of the beaver I was hoping to catch a glimpse of. Nice park. Nice day.
At this point I was 4 hours into my run and I was getting pretty hungry and also needed a little motivation. A good time to stop back to the house for some fuel, hugs from the kids and ridicule from my loving wife who thinks I am insane:)
After hugs, ridicule, peanut butter sandwich, more gatorade and some chips, I am off for the final 2 hours of my run. This time I head to Centennial Park to explore some more trails. I was lucky enough to find some new trails here as well, some of which were still snow packed, others quite wet.
The final hour was pretty tough as I started getting a pain in my left leg. I was too tired to tell if it was coming from my knee shooting through to my ankle or vice versa. Either way I finished off the run. My wife was kind enough to have a hot bath waiting to hop into. I still had enough energy left to set up the kids trampoline as I had promised before waking up to run. The long run topped off a 60 mile week for me. I am hoping to get a 70 mile week in this week.
I also hope to get my copy of Relentless Forward Progress by Bryon Powell from www.irunfar.com. A little late in the game for a manual, but it should come in handy for future events. I expect to have many lessons learned to reflect upon after this first race.