Today we ran 15 miles. Training for the Soldier Marathon is on track and doing well. I've been really lucky this year in the sense I have not had any of the issues I had last season when I was training for LA. I'm guessing there's a number of factors contributing to this. First off, when I trained for LA, the farthest I ever ran was a 5K. I'm going into this training with one marathon under my belt. Second, when I was training for LA, I did not have good form. I was a over striding heel striker. Since I transitioned from my Mizuno Wave Inspire 8s (which I do still love and use often, especially on treadmills) to my minimalist Brooks Pure Cadence, I have noticed I have not been having the issues I had last season. I do have a few aches, which I'm sure I will never finish any run over 10 miles without some form of an ache, but it's not nearly what it was like last season. Anyway, today we had the most pleasant surprise at the 5 mile mark. One of the other ladies in the Columbus Jeff Galloway Program has a husband who as become a bit of a local legend among the Galloway group. Last year, he started to create these little sag stations for the long runs. There was a St. Patrick's Day green themed station in March, an Easter themed station in April. Today he showed up again with a truly awesome luau set up for the summer. Armed with tropical fruits like pineapples, bananas, and grapes, along with other runner snacks like pretzels, ice cold water and Gatorade, and completely decked out in a true luau fashion with a grass skirt around the table, a lei around his neck, a pink flamingo pegged into the ground and playing Jimmy Buffet, it was truly a tropical treat for the entire group.
I had to ask him how early he got up to set this up and it was a bit of an ungodly hour to be up for anyone on their day off. The fact he was out there doing this was awesome because he was out there supporting his wife (which is super cute), and the entire group (which is super awesome). Did I mention he was up around 6:45 on a Saturday to do this? I'm pretty sure he's definitely a contender for the awesome husband award this month. He definitely needs a medal from the group for all he does.
Volunteers are always appreciated at races. I know every runner I know always thanks those handing out water or guiding us on our routes. But sometimes there's the unsung heroes of races. The people who aren't part of the organizations running an event, the people who are just there because and for whatever reason decide they want to support the runners with food and snacks they purchase on their own. These people are awesome. So are the people who create signs and stay out all day long, even to support the people who are coming in long after the races cut off time ends. Anyway, this is kind of a big ol' shout out of THANKS to anyone who has ever volunteered to help organize, operate, run, hand out water, hand out snacks, and anything at a race, and to anyone who has ever just been nice to runners just because and devoted their time to being awesome. Seriously, it's the little things, guys.
On a final note, I decided to try Gu finally. That's never gonna happen again. My issues with textures are so bad, I can't even deal with it despite it tasting like the most delicious coffee ever. I think I may have had half the packet and I nearly vomited on the spot. I could just imagine if I were some 20 something miles in what would happen. So yeah, Gu, never in a million years. Whoever said it was like eating frosting has never had frosting ever. It's like eating snot. Wonderfully flavored snot. And I don't like eating snot, so yeah. Back to Cliff Bars and Sport Beans for me. I'll give shot blocks another shot, too. They're just too chewy.