This morning started VERY early in the Lovato Household. Four o'clock was when the first alarm sounded. I made sure Amanda was awake, and promptly pulled the pillow right back over my head. I needed another hour. It was time for the Gillamster to get up, however, as she was heading out to Aurora to race the Harvest Moon half iron. After a few solid weeks of training, she finally decided it was time to test herself at the races.
I, on the other hand, was in need of a long run, in my preparation for Hawaii (in four short weeks). As much as I truly love playing the race sherpa for Amanda, I had to pass the role off to our friend Jen (shout out to J-Mar!), as I really needed to knock out my training before watching the wife race.
So four o'clock came, and four o'clock went (not nearly soon enough). Around 5:00 AM Amanda came back for a good bye kiss, and a good luck wish from me. I sent her on her way, and I dragged myself out of bed. With two+ hours of running in front of me, I had to get to it... as soon as the sun was up.
I ate my breakie and I drank my coffee. And just 'cause I was still sitting there waiting for daylight, I drank some more coffee. Note to self: easy on the pre-workout java.
A bit past six, I deemed it light enough to embark on the run. I had chosen to run south to Chautaqua and Mesa Trail. It's about a four-mile warm up on the roads before those trails go straight up. I needed some strength-building climbs, so I headed to one of the toughest runs around. Sometimes it's hard to drag myself from the sheets, but when I do, I sure do love those early mornings on the roads.
Rather than turn back for and out-and-back route, I came down out of the foothills to finish the run on some rolling terrain... and on the roads. One thing I have really found beneficial is to finish the long runs on the pavement. It's just too much pounding out on the Queen K if the legs aren't tough from some good old road runs.
The run ended up being a great way to start the day, and was definitely a great boost to the fitness. With only a month to go, I am feeling stronger by the day.
As soon as I finished my run, I quickly made my way through my post-workout routine: a bottle of Ultragen, a quick stretch, a shower, a smoothie, and an apple. I hit the road, intent to see Amanda come off the bike out in Aurora.
It may have cost me about ten dollars in tolls, but I made it there quickly and safely. I had some time to spare, so the dogs and I had plenty of time to find Jen, and to position ourselves for some prime viewing.
Not too much later, AG came a-crusin' in with about three minutes gap to first place. With the kind of bike miles she has put in lately, I knew she'd be strong enough to have a go at the lead. Sadly, and I'm SURE Amanda's blog will have greater detail, the lead woman made a premature turnaround, and came back to the finish after three miles of running. Oops. By the time I saw Amanda at the halfway turnaround (the actual turning point), she was in the lead. It's not exactly the way you like to take the lead, but it's good enough. We all know the importance of being familiar with the race course!
Cruising back to the finish, the dogs, Jen and I were there to see Amanda take home the victory. I realize I'm biased, but damn, she looked good out there!
Another of the day's highlights was that Amanda and I got to meet some folks we'd only really "met" via these blogs and our email exchanges. One fellow in particular, Cody, was up from NM to race the clydesdale championships. He's a guy who, about three months ago, sent me a heart-felt and sincere note about how he had found inspiration in some of my racing experiences (and not just the wins!). As a result, and through triathlon, he has made some incredible life-changing moves. He's now a part of the triathlon family, and in November will be doing his first Ironman, in Nevada. Best of luck to you Cody, and it was great to meet you in person!
So now that the Lovato clan has its first victory for 2007, I'll have to sign off. I've got a bit more preparation to do today so I can be ready to roll next month.
Until next time.