Saturday, July 30, 2005

1:45 AM

That's what time the alarm went off this morning.  I dragged myself out of bed and was immediately glad I had prepared the coffee maker the night before.  I started the coffee, performed my daily ablution, dressed, ate a granola bar, loaded my gear in the car, prepared the coffee and was driving out my garage at 2:05.  Forty minutes later I was buying Big Red, water and ice.  Ten minutes later I'm standing at the North Shore Trail at Lake Grapevine with Deb and Brett.  I don headlamp, turn on flashlight, put on Camelbak and watch and hat.  At exactly 3:08:30 AM, we hit the trail.

Why so early?  Deb and I are training for the Heartland 100 and she is doing a 50 mile race in three weeks as a training race, so she wanted to start early to avoid the heat and get in 36 miles.  I joined her to also avoid the heat and to get in as much mileage as possible before heading home to take care of wife and daughter (yes, wife is finally home from the hospital!  More on that later).  Brett (training for his first 50k in November) also wanted to avoid the heat and enjoys running with Deb.  So we all three spent the morning together talking, running and walking, peeing, eating and drinking, and generally having a good time.

We had a good day on the trail.  It was relatively cool in the morning and didn't warm up too much by the time I left (9:10).  We saw some other members of North Texas Trail Runners and saw very few cyclists.  We saw an armadillo, an adolescent skunk, a jack rabbit.  We stayed together the whole time and didn't push too hard.  I had to leave by 9:10 in order to get home at the agreed upon time, so I only ended up doing 22 miles in 5:30, a 15 minute pace.  Brett's goal was to do 18, which he accomplished (he also did 18 last weekend).  Deb went on to do her 36 miles and is still out there as I write this.  It was a great way to start the weekend.

Angela finally got home Wednesday and is doing pretty well, all things considered.  She is getting home rehab and is as active as possible around the housel.  Her only problem is bending the knee--she can't bend it to the degree they would like.  She will keep working on it and there are some options if she can't get it done herself.  One option is that the surgeon would put her under and then force her leg to bend (OUCH!).  Hopefully it won't come to that.

That's all for now.  I hope to spend most of the day at home, working with my daughter on her reading and other skills so she'll be ready for school in two weeks.  Tomorrow I'll do about 20-22 miles at the track (I don't have time to drive to and from a trail two days in a row).

I forgot to update everyone on my nutrition and hydration experiments.   I have been avoiding Gels and energy drinks because, frankly, I am sick of them.  Today I carried water in my Camelbak.  I ate half a peanut butter sandwich, drank half a Big Red and ate a few pieces of candy orange slices at nine miles.  I ate the other half sandwich, drank the other half of the Big Red and ate a couple of peanut butter filled pretzels at 18.  I topped off my water both times.  I felt great for the whole walk.  I never felt a bonk or crash.  Also, I only took three Succeed caplets (in the past I would have taken between five and ten).

So far it seems that I can get enough energy and electrolytes from food and drink at "aid stations," supplemented with occasional electrolyte caplets.  I still keep Hammer Gel and Clip2 on hand in case it is needed, but so far it has not been.