Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mission Day and Finnegan's First Hike!

My Team-in-Training Mission Day has come and gone and I have survived.  It was a hard run yesterday - the longest I will do until the day of the Canyonland's Half-Marathon on March 19th.  The day started early as I arrived at the site of our run around 7:30AM.  We were meeting at the Nazarene Church on Hampden in Southeast Denver.  The Nazarene Church backs to the Highline Canal which was the course that we would use for the run.

The first 30 minutes after I arrived was mainly spent in conversation with all my fellow team-in-training participants.  There were about 50 - 60 people there as it covered all the team-in-training teams from Metro Denver - including teams from as far away as Fort Collins and Colorado Springs.  The program got going around 8:00AM with a "mission moment".  The "mission moment" is a time when a team hero - usually a survivor of leukemia or lymphoma will get up and give a talk about what it means to them what we are doing raising money to fight for a cure.  Yesterday we had a total of six different speakers.  After that we went around the room and every person there had the opportunity to say who they were dedicating their efforts towards.  Of course I have dedicated my efforts to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to the memory of Patty - my late wife.

After all the motivational speeches and discussion it was time to hit the trail.  We set out on our run around 8:40AM.  My goal for the day was to run for 2 hour and cover at least 10 miles.  I definitely learned some lessons from Saturday's run.  The first is when I am bunched up with a large number of runners at the beginning of a run, I really tend to outpace myself in terms of the speed at which I want to run.  My plan for Canyonlands is to run around a 12:00 minute mile pace.  My first mile yesterday I ran a 10:30 minute mile - which was just too quick.  The second lesson I learned is I really need to watch my hydration status going into the race.  I started the run yesterday already dehydrated.  I had done nothing to specifically hydrate myself for Saturday and I think I had a fair bit of salt in my meals on Friday - so I went into my 10 mile run dehydrated and I definitely paid the price.

At my turnaround point I was definitely feeling the effects of not being properly hydrated.  I really felt like I was going to puke and my legs felt like lead.  After I turned around I decided that I just had to walk for a while.  I ended up walking for about half a mile before I felt like I could run again.  I managed to carry on about a 14 minute pace for the remainder of my way back to the starting point at the Nazarene Church.  In the end run I covered 10.1 miles in a little bit over 2 hours.  I met my goal but I did feel a little disappointed that I ended up walking for part of the run.  At first I felt really bad about it and felt like an epic failure but after I thought about it I realized I still accomplished something pretty darn good - I still made my 10 miles.  And how many people do something like that on their typical Saturday - not too many!  Regardless I learned a lot of good lessons for race day that I plan to put into action!

The rest of Saturday was spent doing some things around the house and being a bit lazy as I was tired from my run.  We did manage to get out for dinner on Saturday night with my brother and his family.  We went to one of my favorite places - Ted's Montana Grill - yum!

This morning brought a new experience for us.  We decided today was the first day to get Finnegan out for a hike.  Now that he is "street legal" (i.e. all his shots are in order and his immunity is where it is supposed to be) we can take him anywhere.  Our hike today was a low-key hike as we headed to the wetlands at Chatfield State Park.  This hike was totally flat and meandered through all the different ponds and small lakes where the South Platte River enters Chatfield Reservoir.

The following pictures are some of the cute ones I took of Zack and Finn while we stopped at a pavilion along the hike.

The rest of the day has been spent doing all those things that you need to do to keep the house running - laundry, grocery shopping and other fun chores.

I hope everyone has a great week a head!

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.


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