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Annual Birthday Workout--54!!

Another year…another Birthday Workout. “How many more years can I do this?” I asked myself as the alarm went off at 5 am as scheduled. This would be my eighth year in a row now of doing my age in chin-ups, pushups, crunches then miles running. It ain’t getting’ any easier!

By 5:15 I was “caffeine’ed” and “Motrin’ed” up and doing my first set of chin-ups. I was able to bust out 28, making getting at least 54 chin-ups much easier. I had been doing tons of chins lately knowing how hard they are. For the second set, I got another 18. So that’s 46. Only 10 left I told myself. Never one to just the minimum, I demanded that I squeeze out as many as I could. Surprisingly, I hit 14 more, making my total 60. My lats were screaming at the end but I was so happy I got 60 in three sets. For the first few years of my streak, I was able to do the chin-ups in two sets. Never again!!

The pushups were much easier. I knocked out 60 in a row, taking a two second pause after number 40. Piece of cake…not really!

For the abs, I chose to do sit-ups, which I never do. They were much harder than expected. My abs burned like fire at the end.

I cranked the radio as I drove down to Fanuel Park in Pacific Beach. This would be my headquarters for my 11 five-mile loops. I really only had to do 54 miles but I’m not gonna stop in the middle of a loop!

I started running at exactly 0600 as planned. I admired my military precision so far. The first two loops went effortlessly. I noticed the tide was super low. I would enjoy watching the tide rise each successive lap then fall back down towards the latter laps. Very few people were out at the start.

After loop two, I stopped at the car to have a ProBar giving me 400 calories. I reloaded my water bottle. I made a point of hydrating more this year, knowing that in previous years I didn’t drink enough. I had planned on stopping and eating every two loops/every 10 miles.

Loops three-six just dragged on. The second quarter of all my long runs and races challenge me mentally. I struggle with thinking of how much more I must do during those periods. I tell myself not to think about how much is left and to just enjoy the current moment. Easier said than done though. Eating some Chef Boy R Dee out of a can while walking the start of loop five elicited some funny looks from others

I got a big boost finishing the sixth loop as I was now more than halfway done. My pace slowed some but was still respectable. My slowest lap was just over one hour but that included stopping at my car to eat and reload. My fastest lap was 45 minutes.

On loop number eight, I saw one of my ER nurses who ran with me for a while. I loved having some company and it energized me.

For loops nine and ten, I seemed to get my second wind. Though my legs were a little sore and tight, making me have to stretch a lot, I cranked out a pretty solid pace. My chest and back felt heavy from the chin-ups and pushups also. Now, there were tons of others sharing the back-bay boardwalk with me.

During my all-day ordeal, two homeless guys hadn’t moved from their spots after I had first seen them hours ago. I liked watching some construction workers lay out their materials in the early am then complete the installation of a large fence with each time I ran by. One guy gave me a curious nod each pass, probably wondering what the hell I was doing.

My wifey and kids came by to visit briefly after school let out and gave me an Ensure as I finished the tenth loop. Now, I had only five miles to go. Including some brief walking/stretching breaks, I did it in 54 minutes. I couldn’t believe how strong I felt the last three loops.

So, the total time for the 55 miler was 10 hours and 20 minutes. As I laid on the grass at Fanuel Park, I savored not having to move my body. Ahh, it felt so good.

The pain I’ve been dealing with in my Achilles was tolerable. All in all, the workout went great. Now, I couldn’t wait to get home and start eating what could be 5400 calories of ice cream, peanuts and chocolate sauce!!

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