Sunday, July 01, 2007

40 on my 40th

I’m still waiting.

Yesterday I was 39. I felt great. Today I turned 40. I still feel good. I’m a bit sore at the moment, chafed up pretty badly from my run this morning, but otherwise, the doom and gloom hasn’t arrived yet. From the way most react when they hear you are turning 40, or the way many react when they, themselves, turn 40, the wheels should fall off soon. There’s not many hours left today, so it should happen very soon.

Lisa threw me a great surprise party last night at the Bar in New Haven. I was a bit suspicious this week that something was up. She is the worst at keeping secrets. She did really well though. I was supposed to be under the impression that her and I were going to dinner at Roomba. I thought that maybe she arranged a small get together. She was very quiet and anxious on the drive to New Haven, so I further knew something was going on. After parking, she mentioned that our reservations weren’t for a bit and suggested we go across the street to Bar to get a drink. We walked into the back room and “Surprise!” It was a really nice party that Lisa arranged. She had the room until 10pm only – another party reserved the room. Turns out that they are shooting some of the fourth Indiana Jones movie in New Haven, and they were the ones who reserved the room. We were hoping to see Harrison Ford but no such luck.

It was a late night (for me), but I was up early today since I had planned a long run. The trail from Tait Rd. in Trumbull to Newtown and back is just over 20 miles. I wanted to run it twice today. I usually do a long ride on my birthday and I received a lot of calls this week wishing me Happy Birthday and asking if I was doing my long birthday ride. It made me realize that the long ride was not much of a remembrance any more. I had done so many that I began to take them for granted. So, late Thursday night, while thinking about this, I decided that I would run 40 miles today.

I headed out at 5:55am on the 4.5 mile out and back section towards Newtown, loaded with a full fuel belt and my ipod. I met up with John Brennan at 6:30am at the parking area in Monroe for the trails, where he tagged me with a My Athlete gps tracking unit. I then headed towards Trumbull. As I ran by the single track trail that leads to the tough stair climb in Monroe, I thought “that would be cool if I hit that at the 39 mile mark!” The plan was to keep my heart rate under 130 for the first 30. It was an unbelievable morning – sunny and cool, just beautiful. I felt smooth. A bit sleep deprived, but what else is new. My heart rate was hovering between 124 and 129 and I was clipping along at 7 minute mile pace. In fact, I hit 20 miles in 2 hrs 19 minutes, back at the Monroe parking area. Lisa and the kids came down to the parking area to wish me Happy Birthday, and Baker, Gus, and Laura were there also, ready to keep me company for the second loop. I ditched the fuel belt and my singlet, and took a water bottle in hand and a bottle of coke. We ran the out and back section to Newtown, then Laura jumped on her mountain bike and was a great soigner. Ryan and Kate ran with us for a bit at this point.

I went through 26 miles in 3:09, and still felt smooth. After passing through the 26 mile mark, I though about how I was now in unchartered waters. I had never run further than 26.2 miles at one time before. At the 32 mile mark, my legs were starting to feel it. Cardio-wise, I felt fine. But the lack of training for this didn’t really prepare my joints well for the pounding. I was still holding a pretty solid pace. At the 38 mile mark, Lisa and Big Rocks joined me and we ran together for a mile, before I told Lisa that I was going into the single track to run the stairs. I finished the run today in 4 hours 50 minutes. It felt great. The excitement of doing something I haven’t done was cool.

We walked back to my house and Lisa heated up a ton of left over pizza from Bar last night. My parents, my sister Tonya, my cousin Emily, Baker, Brennan, Gus and Laura hung out with us on the patio for awhile, eating and rehydrating and conversing, while the kids played.

What a great weekend. Life is good!




JenC said...

Happy Birthday Eric! I'm sure the wheels are not going to fall of the cart. You are in fabulous shape!

Very impressed with the 40-miler!

Eric said...

Thanks Jen!



Eric said...

EH, welcome to 40. Wheels don't fall off they just keep spinning faster.

Great job doing the 40 miles.