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Runner's Diary: Leslie Rude

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Leslie Rude
Leslie Rude

It was such an exciting week of running.

I was able to run or do a cardio circuit before school each morning. I then took Friday off in preparation for the Aug. 9 triathlon, which was like nothing I’ve experienced before.

The morning of the triathlon, the neighborhood was swarming with competitors. I could have people-watched all day. I loved seeing the serious triathletes prep, carefully laying out their gear for transitions between the events. It was such an inclusive event though, I never felt out of place as a first-timer. All ability levels were represented, and that seemed to really build such a sense of community.

When the race began, I was able to watch the swimming, since my leg of the race wasn’t until the end. The swimmers went right past our backyard, which was so exciting. My son Nolan loved cheering them on and yelled like he knew everyone. The swimmer for my team, Kim Mendez, did really well, but I almost missed her going by because I’d started pacing. There was just too much nervous energy inside me building up.

After Kim, it was my teammate Dan LeClerc’s turn on the bike. Despite a recent injury, he did awesome.

The runners were the last leg of the race, and all that meant was that I had more time to wait and get anxious.

We didn’t stress out about the transition time, so I tried to just set off at a jog up toward the start line. When I crossed the line, though, I had to take a second and really think about my pace. I set out way faster than I should have because of the crowd and all the adrenaline. I settled into my pace and was pretty sure I would beat my goal time.

I had done the math several times before race day and knew what distance I needed to be at by what time in order to get under 26 minutes.

I was able to break 26 minutes, which felt great because I had worked all summer toward that, but there were so many other achievements during the triathlon that seemed bigger.

Watching friend Glyn Price and his daughter, Lizzie Price, work hard all summer and reach their goal was really cool.

Witnessing Laurie and her son Collin Booher participating in tandem was absolutely inspirational. I welled up with tears at each point they passed us. It all made me want to do the full triathlon next year.

After that big morning was over, I sort of forgot what a big run I still had left to do over the weekend. That Sunday was my 15-mile run with Glyn. The last long run we did was pretty tough, so Glyn and I read up on carb loading. We started loading up Friday on the carbohydrates and continued to do so at each meal until our run.

We couldn’t schedule our run until 3 p.m., and by then it was pretty humid. We are used to running early in the morning when humidity isn’t really an issue yet.

I felt like it was more of a trudge at points than a run, but we were able to trudge through what Glyn has coined “a character-building run.”

Normally I can lose myself for several miles and just let my mind drift, but I had a really hard time with this run. Around mile seven, I told Glyn, “There are only two reasons I’m not suggesting we stop right now. First, I carb-loaded way too much to not burn more calories, and second, we’re too far away from the car.”

I always thought the wall was something you hit and then you stay mentally tough for a few miles until it goes away, but that wasn’t my experience this time. It was just tough. Period. It stopped being tough when it was over.

The fact that I did it, though, is a big deal to me and was a nice reminder — I can handle difficult.

Training schedule

MONDAY: One-hour cardio circuit.

TUESDAY: Interval runs for 3 miles.

WEDNESDAY: One-hour cardio circuit.

THURSDAY: Interval runs for 3 miles.

FRIDAY: One-hour cardio circuit.

SATURDAY: 16 miles with Columbus Running Club and Glyn Price


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