Sunday, October 6, 2013

Couples who train together stay together.

Well, I'm registered for a full marathon in three short weeks.  A couple of months agao, this sounded like a very good idea.  I had wedding-on-the-brain and was focusing on planning for our big day and spending lots and lots of quality time with my family.  I was still running, but needed some motivation to kick my arse into gear.  So, why not sign up for a 26.2 mile event, right??!!  Somehow, this seemed like a good idea at the time.  Now, with the wedding behind us, and life becoming more "routine" again, I'm ready to train.  But, I only have three weeks to go.  My hubby made a good point this morning, that I should be tapering now, but here I am - ramping up the miles.
I had a kid-free weekend and planned to run a random 13.1 mile distance on our favorite local trail - the Glacial Drumlin in Cottage Grove.  We were going to run with other members of a local running group.  But with the forecast saying 60% chance of rain for Saturday morning, we opted to reschedule for early on Sunday morning.  Short story - I barely rained on Saturday.  But, it did end up being very humid all day long.  So, even though we lost a lot of runners from the Saturday-to-Sunday transition, I'm happy that I put my miles in on the back-end of the weekend.
We met up with Bert and Christina at 7am at the trail head.  After a last-minute potty stop, we all started our watches only a few minutes late and headed out towards Deerfield.
The guys ran ahead of us for most of the way.  The gravel path was covered in leaves already.  The trail was very quiet on the way out to Deerfield.  On the way back, we saw a lot of other runners and bikers, heading out.  I was enjoying conversation with Christina so much that I didn't even turn my ipod on until around mile 7 or so.  After she waved me to go on ahead, I cranked my tunes and tried to catch up to the guys.  We stopped for a gel once and to get some photos.  And then continued on. 
The restrooms at both shelters on our route were closed - and the water was turned off for the season.  I had a long 6.5 miles back to the trailhead.  But, it kept my mind off of any other pains I was having, I guess!  I felt great and was fueled with energy.  With about a mile ago, I told the guys to go ahead - and I ran back to Christina to join her for the tough last mile-or-so.  We headed up that dreaded hill at the end, and into the parking lot.  While others stretched, I ran to the coffee shop to use the restroom, we said our good-byes and hubby and I headed back out. 
Half marathon done - how many more miles to go ... ?? ....
We were going to run another six - but opted to reach the four mile marker and turn around - for eight miles instead.  I had some energy chews during our first mile back out.  At one point I got all ambitious and thought how cool it would be to run the half marathon distance again - and just complete a FULL marathon.  Cuz, we are so cool like that.  He was thinking the same thing ... well, because we share a brain a lot these days.  (Hey, did you notice we even dressed alike today?!).  THEN, we came to our senses.  We saw the four mile marker, took a quick walking break, turned around, and headed back for four more.  I could feel my ankles starting to bother me.  His knee was bugging him a bit.

For some reason - the second-to-last mile is always my most difficult.  It always seems the looooongest to me.  I'm always happy to see mile marker number 1 on my way back.  Then, I know I've conquered the run and I'm in the home stretch.  Only to have that dreaded, mongo hill yet in frontn of me.  I played Katy Perry's Roar twice and picked up pace and totally blew that hill out of the water and sped to the parking lot (at least I FELT like I was flying!).

Boom - 22 miles done!

We passed a few people a couple of times, with our multi-loop run this morning.  It was fun seeing people putting in the miles today.  Such a beautiful morning to be outside.  We even ran into Angela three times.  She caught up with us while we were stretching on the picnic table in Cottage Grove.  She reads RDM and it was fun getting to know her a bit.  She's training for Tyranena Half in November.  I am going to hook her up with some of my clients that run the same pace.  It's always funny meeting someone that reads my blog - knows all about me, my life story, my running, my divorce, my wedding.  It's fun knowing that other runners, mothers, bloggers actually read my words.

I'm going to try to put in another long run sometime next weekend, and then I know I will have the confidence to run this race on October 27th.  I have so much more confidence after this morning.