Saturday, February 23, 2008

Positive thinking & the mega training weekend

I remember the first time I was exposed to someone doing a "long run". It was just after college and my house mate mentioned he was going out for a 10-mile run. This blew my mind, as it seemed an impossible distance for any non-Olympic marathoner to run. Less than two hours later he returned and to my astonishment, he could walk around and function normally after this mega-long run! This left a huge impression on me and I drew from it as I made it through my first 10-miler a couple years later. Years passed and while my astonishment meter has raised its limits a bit, I remain very respectful of the long run ... whatever the distance that defines it for the individual. These are the thoughts floating around in my mind as I sat in my office on a Friday night preparing for 3 days of back-to-back long runs, the first of which was already a few hours behind schedule. The plan: a total of 12 hours of running with the duck (my fully-weighted MDS backpack). The video below picks up on Friday night -- a few hours after my planned start ...

After surviving my late night run and getting a good night's sleep, I set out on a 4-hour run on Saturday ...

Man-made and natural features of Saturday's run ...
I rarely plan my long run routes -- instead I make them up on the fly relying on Switzerland's amazing network of Wanderweg paths. I run from village to village -- sign to sign -- and it usually works out just great time-wise (and certainly adventure-wise!).

With Saturday's run in the bank, albeit with a new injury collected along the way, I did my second ice bath of the weekend, stretched, enjoyed a Swiss-style fondue night, and prepared for the closing act on Sunday. The plan for Sunday's run was 5-hours with steep hills. I picked a general direction to head (toward the hills!) and decided to let the rest of the route take care of itself. The weather was surreal for late-February in Switzerland and the only real concern I had was a revisit from Saturday's glute injury.

The video tells the story the best -- in the end, I experienced a 6-hour run on Sunday. After a great first hour, my leg/glute issue became a major problem and I was in pain with each step. At 3 hours, I applied a cocktail of positive thought, aspirin, muscle gel, and warm soup, and somehow I turned a miserable injury experience on its head and enjoyed a wonderful closing three hours (with most of that in the darkness). I don't quite understand the turnaround, but I sure don't question it!

This was a very important weekend in my preparation for MDS and I was happy to reach our doorstep in one piece Sunday night with this mega-training weekend successfully concluded!

Thanks for reading and checking out the videos - as always, I really appreciate your support!



Lisa Smith-Batchen said...

Jeff..what a great blog post! I need to learn from you!
I would love those stairs in my back yard..such great training.
You inspire us all

Sean said...

Thanks for the video of your journey(s)! I hope you're still feeling good today. Best wishes for continued success!


Roger said...

Great post, Jeff!

12 hrs of knees hurt just thinking about it.

I really like the video presentations, just give us a bit more scenery shots. :)


i8chocolate said...

Thanks for letting us tag along and enjoy your runs without having to break a sweat! Keep up the great work. We're behind you (literally & figuratively) all they way! Quack, quack:)

peter said...

I already liked you as a normal human being - for this.. my admiration goes beyond