17 miles. At John’s request, we ran 17 miles on a day when most of my friends rode 50 miles. John was inspired by Joe Ponton’s “40 miles on his 40th birthday” story. I’d imagine most of my friends would think that this was my idea – geting John to try endurance running. Nope! All his.
We started in the dark at Loggerhead park, maybe a few minutes before 6am. We each staged 2 gels at the car and ran south to PGA, mostly in the dark until we hit the duck pond on the way up. The time and seasons are changing again – that’s the proof! We had a gel and a drink at Loggerhead Park, then ran north. The seas were flat, the sun was hidden behind a big set of clouds, which made it cooler for us. No sunrise blast view, but we needed the cool temps a bit more than the light show. We stopped for water a few times, talking all the way about how it feels to run long at a slower pace. We saw a few cyclist groups, but not many of our friends. I think they took liberty to start later today. We ran apst Carlin Park, past Circle K, and into Jupiter Inlet park. We went over the little footbridge into DuBois Park, and ran out towards Circle K again. Once we turned north, John asked where a bathroom was, so to add the necessary miles we ran back to DuBois Park and used that men’s room and fountain. We took our other gel and ran south. John was feeling the distance now, he reported his vision was blurring except for what was right in fron of him, and he was developing a side stitch, on the wrong side. We stopped running a few times and walked, stopping next at Carlin Park for John to put the shower on his head and cool off. We did this a few times on the beach road, making sure to have oursleves tight against the sea grape trees for any shade we could get. Our miles 14-15 went slow, we had a few walk breaks and water stops, but we kept moving forward. Once we got closer to Marcinski Rd, the pier and Loggerhead park, we ran better knowing the end was close. Our final steps had us pass the Loggerhead main parking lot and go in through the old marineleife center, around the tennis courts by the entrance to the park and down the slight hill to the car. John was tired but satisfied, his first long run over his previous 8 jiles was done. We went in the clear and cool ocean to recover, then got some drinks at Dunkin Donuts after the run. Good work from the high school cros country kid!