Saturday, August 05, 2006

12 miles in the Oldest City

Friday evening (August 4) I was in bed by 9:30. I can't remember the last time I crawled into bed that early on a Friday night. My week was long and I was pretty tired but that wasn't the reason for getting into bed early.
I set the clock for 4:45am and watched tv until I felt I could finally close my eyes. The Donna Hicken Foundation marathon group was meeting for a 6:00am, twelve mile training run in Saint Augustine and I didn't want to oversleep. Earlier in the week I strained my right calf muscle toward the end of a six mile run. This would be my first run in three days and my calf was still sore.
Our group met at the Visitors Center on the edge of downtown. I was amazed by the new center with its MASSIVE garage. I tried to remember what stood in that space 34 years ago when my family first moved to Saint Augustine. I think the center was a 3000 sq ft building and parking was a relatively small lot.
The run started late (6:15) and our numbers were down from the usual 120 runners to no more than 80. Our route was from downtown, out to Anastasia Park and back. We saw a beautiful sunrise as we ran along the inlet on our way out to the beach. The lighthouse and tennis courts were still as I remembered and then we angled our way into the park for a stretch of run that I did as a 17 year old. Wow, what an odd sensation to be running along a road that I used to train on more than 25 years ago.
Other runners from the Saint Augustine area were out training along the same route. We spent a lot of energy greeting and motivating along the way. It never fails to amaze me just how many people are as nutty as me.
My calf bothered me the entire run (I'm sure 12 miles was not the best medicine). By the time we got back to the visitors center it was 8:00am. If we had to go one more mile I was certain my left leg would have found a way to cut itself off so as not to listen to the right leg complain anymore.
Over the next month I will try and increase my training to 40 miles a week. Twentyfour plus miles during the week and at least 16 miles on the weekend. Hopefully the pictures I am posting provide a better sense of the commitment. Thanks for sticking with me.

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