Even though I'm not logging a lot of miles (really trying to hold off until I start my Boston training) I didn't bat an eye at running 31 miles. I'm no stranger to this distance or this course. And lately I seem to have an over abundance of energy. My runs have full of adrenaline and I just can't wait to go, go, go! I was hoping that it would hold up through my race & I seemed to be off to a really good start.
I ran my first loop in 57:58. Not too shabby and pretty consistent with many other runners.
Loop 2 felt really good with the clock showing 1:57:44.
I finished loop 3 at 3:09:10 and still felt good & strong, but I was starting to slow a little and starting to hurt some too.
On loop 4 at mile 20 my phone, thus my music, died, but I still felt pretty strong until coming back. The hurt was more intense and I was beginning to struggle. At least on the inside. Everyone I saw kept telling me I looked great & strong. I knew otherwise. At about mile 24 I had someone come up behind me and strike up a conversation. I had passed many other runners through out the day and either I zoomed past them or them me with your usually runner banter & encouragement. This runner though stuck with me and kept chatting. If ever I thought about stopping or walking I certainly couldn't do it now. On one hand that's because the conversation was a good distraction. When it's just me & my mind there's too much thinking about what hurts. Talking and listening kept my mind off of what was going on & I just moved forward. On the other hand I wasn't going to totally weenie out when this runner had taken the time to come along side of me. Yes, we still walked at a few points. It was almost a must with those steep hills. But I couldn't let myself straight up walk with a runner right next to me!! We finished that loop in 4:24 (I'm a little unsure on that time, but it was in that general area). There was a very big part of me that did not want to go out on that last lap. The informality of the race makes it so easy to say I'm done & no one bats an eye. Yet, I knew I'd be so mad at myself if I didn't get it done.
I started loop 5 with some legal pain relieving drugs in my system because there was no way I could do this last lap without it. At least not without coming to a complete walk. I had lost track of that runner who finished loop 4 with me. All that chatting & I never asked what his name was (I found out later that it was Jeremy). Once I got started I saw him up ahead of me & used that as a focus to try and catch up with him. Before I could though another running friend caught up with me & we got busy chatting & keeping each other company. Honestly at this point I would've kept company with a serial killer & I wouldn't have cared. Anything to keep me distracted from the pain and to keep me from walking. It worked. The pain didn't go away and I slowed even more, but I was ok with all of that considering my lack of training. It wasn't a complete shock that I was running this way. Eventually with the help of my running friends I finished loop 5 with a new PR of 5:44:45.
Overall it turned out to be a really good day. I was slightly bummed that while I had been the lead female the entire race, I slipped to 3rd within the last mile. And while I had good pace I slowed with each lap. Even, consistent pacing has never been something I've been good at. But looking big picture I ran well (especially with no training), met some new friends, saw some old & got to spend my day doing what I love.
Also worth noting that my husband, Jim & 2 sons, John & Andrew came to run as well.
John (age 13) completed 2 laps, 12.4 miles. That is the longest distance he has ever ran. Andrew (a week before his 9th birthday) ran 1 lap, 6.2 miles, the longest distance he has ever ran. Jim, who rarely ever runs was there to run with the boys as they did their loops. They are all superstars!!