Yesterday was my 17th anniversary! You know what we did for our anniversary date?
…we ran six miles together. Then indulged in the best ice cream in town. We both agreed that it was our best anniversary ever.
Yes, there is a story here. Living in California was such a blur for us that there are very few of our anniversaries that I actually remember. Sad, I know. But when we moved to Columbia and vowed to get in shape, we overlooked healthy eating and portion control on our first anniversary celebrated here. Call it excitement from having our first real “date” in 10 years (no kids) or whatever. Regardless, the gluttony and overindulgence we subjected ourselves to will be forever burned into our memories. We. Were. Miserable… For days.
See, we had been eating well, watching our calories, exercising and doing all the right things. But that fateful day we had a HUGE meal (appy, entree, dessert, wine, coffee afterwards, etc.) that consisted of a big steak, monstrous baked potato and no less than 3 mini loaves each of DEEP FRIED sourdough bread (for the record… best bread EVER).
The pain and shame of that meal stuck with us. Many weeks later my wife announced that she wanted to start running and maybe do a 5K. I continued down the path to doom the marathon and the incident was all but forgotten. Fast forward a year and it was time for our 16th anniversary. Although I was recovering from a nightmarish injury that almost derailed my fitness for good, when discussion of what to do came around, we both agreed on two things. First, we would NEVER eat that much again!! Second, a run together was something that we realized we had never done. So we decided to start a tradition. Our “anniversary run”. It was awesome and we loved it. Being together and enjoying something we both loved (besides food!). Perfect. We even curbed our urge to eat and went to a good Sushi restaurant and ate with control.
Fast forward another year. I am fully recovered from my injuries and in arguably the best shape of my life. My wife is exactly one pound from her goal weight (which she achieved today!!! Congratulations! You are beautiful!), considering a 10K and even mentioned a half marathon as a long term goal (she is totally out of control). But the funny thing was that when we were considering things to do for our anniversary, the first thing that came up was what we would NOT do (eat like pigs). Too funny. In fact, we both agreed that we really didn’t want to even eat out. We just wanted to hang out together and enjoy each others company. We also both agreed that we wanted to run together again!
You may be thinking, “why can’t they run together more?” Unfortunately, our kids are at an age (5 and 11) where they are just not quite self sufficient enough to be left alone. Besides, they would kill each other before we ever got out of the driveway 😉 So we have to do the responsible adult thing and work out in shifts. We know this is temporary and eventually the older one will be able to tape little one to the wall babysit and we can run together more. But for now, we just enjoy the minutes we have together as a family.
So to make a short story (part one) long… We simply went out together and enjoyed a beautiful six mile run together. It was wonderful. Then, after we were back at the car, I dragged convinced my darling, sophisticated, grown up, responsible wife of 17 years to jump in the splash park with me to cool off! Gotta bring her down to my level every once in a while…! Then we decided that the best use of our remaining date time was to sneak over to Sparky’s Ice Cream for a tiny indulgence to celebrate our love. We also decided that this IS our tradition and that we would even like to expand it to find a race to run together. That’s cool…
The end (of an awesome day)
On the workout side of things, I got in 2200 yards in the pool! I felt like crap for the first 800, but once I got into it, I enjoyed it. I am continually playing with my swim stroke and may have found a pretty decent combination to work on. More on that later.
Today I woke up from the bliss of my anniversary run to face the hottest day of the year. Ninety nine degrees with dewpoints in the 70’s meant it was sure to be miserable. We were scheduled to ride 26 miles and I wanted to run at least two afterwards. Mostly to get past the pain of my failed ride/run brick last weekend. I loaded the car with a couple of gallons of fluid in my nifty new cooler and hoped against hope that I wouldn’t suffer the same fate as last week. We had nearly 30 riders this week and, thankfully, the pace was slow. Fifteen to sixteen miles per hour on a somewhat hilly course made for a positively enjoyable ride. There were the odd sprints/breakaways here and there, but for the most part it was a group gab and ride. I needed one of these. Most of my rides have been so intense that riding for the joy of it has eluded me. This was just fun. So when we got back to the parking lot, I felt I had plenty of gas for the run. My newfound running buddy Jenny was there and chomping at the bit to go (even though she had been fighting a bug and didn’t have much energy) so I swapped shirts and grabbed some sport beans and took off.
Yes, it was hot. About 90 by the time we started running. But maybe these forced workouts in the heat are helping because although I could feel the heat, it didn’t melt me like I thought it would. I wasn’t running fast at all, but it still felt good. I was, however, glad to get back to the coffee shop/parking lot. It’s amazing how enjoyable a good cup of coffee and a (low fat, carrot) muffin can taste, even in the heat (we sat out on the patio so we wouldn’t stink out all the other customers… !)
After we finished up the coffee, I headed out to another coffee shop on the way home in hopes of seeing some of my running friends. I had seen them a couple of times on the ride as they were running a long route today (17-19 miles) and thought it would be fun to catch up. I managed to get there just in time to see them for a bit and it was fun to catch up. They are all training for our local marathon which is widely known to be one of the toughest in the nation. As if running 26 miles isn’t tough enough, try doing it in mid Missouri on Labor day (think “hotter than Hades”) and add several of the toughest hills you will ever run to it. Sound like fun? Yeah… me neither. But if you dare, it is called the “Heart of America” marathon and this year is it’s 50th anniversary (yes, I said five zero) so they all want to run it. I, personally, feel way the hell too good right now to subject myself to marathon training. I’ll volunteer or something.
Well, if my Sunday morning run/swim brick buddy calls me back tonight we will do another 3 mile run/ 1500 yard swim/3 mile run tomorrow morning. Here’s hoping she calls. I (can’t believe I’m saying this) actually enjoyed it last time and lord knows I need to swim more, so here’s hoping!