After the last several weeks of “taking a break” from training, I was finally able to put in some time this past week.  I was thoroughly welcomed back by sore muscles and barely being able to walk after the first day back.  Though I thought otherwise, I was pleasantly surprised by not losing much of my endurance training.  The first day back was pretty rough as I was unable to complete the last 2 exercises of our circuit as I was absolutely drained.  I was fighting my body from wanting to pass out and vomit at the same time.  I am happy to announce I did neither.

I eventually got back into my training rhythm and completed the longest run of my life so far, 10 miles.  I really had no goals for this 10 mile run other than to survive it.  I figured I hadn’t run much in the last 3 weeks and have not been getting quality sleep so this 10 mile run was shaping up to be brutal.  Luckily, the weather has cooled down a bit and the humidity wasn’t so bad on Saturday morning.  The run started out great and I was amazed at how good I was feeling.  The trek took me along the Mississippi River and around the Audubon Zoo and through Audubon Park.  The change of scenery was good and a good portion of the run was on grass and trails.  As I ran down St. Charles Ave. on the way back to the levee I couldn’t help but think about the bottle of water I had stashed at the levee and how good it would be to taste even a drop as I was parched.  My mind began to wonder what I would do if I reached the levee only to find out my water bottle was stolen.  I don’t think there were any pleasant thoughts that raced through my head thinking about my water bottle missing.  It was all for nothing though as my water was there and tasted a little like heaven on earth! 

I was surprised at how good I felt over the first 8 miles of the run.  It was just after the 8 mile mark when I felt like I was no longer moving forward.  I could feel my legs moving.  I could feel the air entering and exiting my lungs.  I could hear my feet striking the ground.  What I could not feel was my body moving forward.  Apparently I was in fact still moving forward as mile 9 finally turned into mile 10.  If mile 9 felt like I wasn’t moving, mile 10 felt like I was getting punched in the ribs repeatedly!  I was tired.  I wanted to be finished.  I knew the end was near and I could almost see the end of the run.  Mile 10 was a lot less of physical ability and so much more of mental ability.  I have never wanted to quit running as much as I did in that mile.  Thankfully, my mind overcame my body.  It also helped to have Tim running next to me going through the exact same pain and suffering.  When I reached the end of the run I don’t think I have ever been so happy that a run was over.  My happiness was cut short however when I found out next Saturday we have a 12 mile run scheduled.  I guess my personal best of 10 miles will be short lived!

On a non-training note, every now and then an inspirational story pops up just when you need it.  I typically draw inspiration from the military and the courage necessary to accomplish what those young men and women have done throughout history.  Another source of inspiration for me is individuals facing a terminal disease or condition and choosing life over death.  For you New Orleans Saints fans out there I’m sure you have heard of Steve Gleason.  Many of you may also be aware of his condition after seeing the beginning of the Saints vs. Texans game yesterday afternoon.  Steve Gleason was recently diagnosed with ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  This disease attacks the brain and the spinal cord which eventually causes the motor neurons between the brain and muscles to wither and die.  This causes the person to be unable to control muscle function.  This disease is terminal and there is no cure.  This disease seems pretty nasty and destructive.  If you have time, please take a moment to read this column on Steve Gleason and how he has chosen life over death in the face of this terrible disease.

Keep Movin’ friends…it’s the only way to get where you’re going!

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