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5 Hours of Running and Juggling Fun

Saturday was the longest joggle of my joggling career – 5 hours. That’s right, I spent about 21% of an entire day joggling. And it was GREAT!

Pre-Run Reaction

One thing you’ll find when training for a marathon (or ultra marathon) is that you are surprised/impressed that you can complete previously unfathomable distances. Finishing a half marathon or a 18-mile training run, seems crazy. You’ll also be compelled to tell people about it. There is something odd about running long distances and the reactions you get from others (non-juggling runners) Here are examples of what you’ll hear when you tell people you’ll be running for 5 hours.

“That’s just crazy!”
“You’re nuts!”
“I couldn’t even drive for 5 hours.”
“That’s ridiculous!”
“Good luck. I’ll be in bed.”

Yes, most people find it hard to understand why anyone would want to run that far. The joggling just makes it even more ludicrous. Of course, not nearly as ludicrous as the fact that OJ’s book is a best seller on Amazon.

Running to the Lake

In the morning I used all of my best motivation techniques to get me out the door. You can imagine, it’s not always easy to get out and run. The most effective motivation technique…put on your running clothes.

It was a beautiful running day, slightly cold with a big bright sun. I made it to the free water station sponsored by Fleet Feet and got my first drink of water/Gatorade. A couple of other runners asked where I’d been all summer. I guess I haven’t run the lake path as much as previous years. I blushed and told them I’d been on vacation. I felt like a celebrity.

Juggling the Lake Path

One thing I love about running the lake in the summer. You pass a lot more people and it makes you feel really fast! In the winter, the runners are more serious so you pass less and even get passed yourself. I don’t like getting passed even if they aren’t joggling.

In the winter, you also miss little gems like these. As I passed one of the big running packs I heard lots of cheers.
“Great job”
“You’re awesome”
“Way to go juggler!”

Then I hear from a guy in the crowd “Hey juggler, are you single!?” While it made me laugh, it also made me rethink the wearing of Spandex and bikini underwear.

A joggling race

Almost an hour and a half into the run a guy slowly but steadily passed me. When this happens I usually am annoyed but I’ll make an excuse for myself like “I’m sure he hasn’tjoggling milwaukee been running as long as me so he should be faster.” But this time I didn’t want excuses. I wanted to pass him! I sped up and gained. He must have heard me because he started going faster. Not fast enough though because I caught. He stayed with me and the race was on. We stayed together for nearly a mile and then I remembered that I was going to be running for another 3 and a half hours, so I let him go. A quarter mile later, I saw him stop. I felt like I won that one. It’s little races like these that can keep you inspired to keep running.

Running with a partner

After the race, I turned around and ran home. Shannon is doing the Bucktown 5K next weekend and wanted to train a bit. After 3 hours of running alone, I appreciated the company. Running, even for a joggler, can get lonely. Long distance joggling is especially lonely.

We ran together for about 20 minutes until she was done. It’s was great. I love when I can find important things in my life and combine them e.g running & spending time with my wife. She picked up some food at our regular breakfast stop, Cold Comfort, and I was off for the rest of my run.

The last juggling leg

This time I was going to go to the Sears Tower. I love this building. I’m proud it’s in my city.

On my way I noticed I started to slow. Apparently, 3.5 hours of running without any food is about my limit. I needed some energy. The food was a Ho-Ho and a Lemon Lime Gatorade. The Ho-Hos didn’t taste as great as my childhood memory told me but I had to eat them. They were energy. For the Lakefront 50-miler, I’ll have to figure out a better eating strategy. The joggling world record will require it.

When I got to the Sears Tower, I threw a bean bag off the wall. I had been joggling for 4:30 and was venturing into uncharted territory. I’d never gone this far before. Fortunately, I still had energy and could deal with the pain. Don’t let anyone kid you, running far and for a long time hurts!

When I finally got home, I was beat. Shannon filled up the bathtub with cold water and IThis american life juggling soaked my legs for 20 minutes while I listened to This American Life and ate my Cold Comfort bagel sandwich. Cold water seems to help reduce soreness. The rest of the day I spent zoned out on the couch.

Training Epilogue

That’s something to keep in mind about marathon or ultra marathon training. You spend a lot of time running, but you also sped a lot of time laying around and resting. It feels great but is unproductive.

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