Week 15, Oct. 18th, 20 miles!! DONE!
One bag of Sports Beans, five Jolly Ranchers, and one hard-peppermint candy later--and 21 miles is in the BAG! We did it! Congratulations!
Our goal was 20 miles but we ended up running 21! This was the last long run until the Route 66 Marathon and it was a wonderful morning; perfect really. I only hope we can be this lucky on the day of the marathon. Here is a brief rundown of the morning.
When I arrived at Fleet Feet at 6:15am, it was dark and 46-degrees (Burr.) I had on a running skirt, a ball-cap, a running top and another long sleeve shirt that had built in mittens; I looked like a "Geranimal or a muppet" of some sort; I was freezing. How could I get hot in this weather? (Mind you, the night before I asked Coach Kathryn, a.k.a., Captain Insane-O if I should wear a long sleeve shirt and she said, "No. Wear shorts and a short sleeve, you'll warm up really fast.") At 6:20am Wes Kane--a photographer from our station arrived to get video of us running--that's when I saw Coach Paul and Coach Kathryn (insert a lot of laughter and sarcasm.) Coach Paul immediately says, "I don't want to be on camera, get it away from me!" J Then Coach Kathryn says, (as I'm shivering and huddled with some of the other runners) "Get that long sleeve shirt off." J Allllllrighty then. Thanks guys. Good talk! Hahaha! (Please know, we are all laughing, joking and having a good time.) So, at the request of Captain Insane-O and Tiffany, I take off my long sleeve Geranimal-looking shirt, start shivering even more--and then we are off.
Ben, Dana, Leigh Ann, Monica, Jennifer, and Michael had run The Chicago Marathon the weekend before, and joined us for the first half of our run (Jeanean and Sandi joined later), and told us about their experiences. As we ran and listened to their stories, we began to warm up (my hands however, were icicles--and I could barely straighten my fingers.) When we got to about 56th and Riverside we had run, I think, 10 miles. By this time the sun was out and we were going strong--all 30 of us in our Hawt AsSphalt group. We were doing "The Wave," laughing, singing, talking and seeing how many people would say hello to us as we ran passed them on Riverside (remember Coach Paul calls our group a social group with a running problem.) By mile 13, from what I could tell, we were all still hanging in there--smiling, talking and even singing. Jeanean and Sandi then came on board for the last half. By mile 15, our group had dwindled to about 15. By mile 16, Coach Paul counted 12. (No one dropped out...we just spread out as a group, it's normal.)
The last 4 were "mental miles." Tiffany and I talked about us "peaking" on this run, and feeling strong and staying positive...and we held on to that until the very end. At this time Coach Kathryn was done running and met all the Fleet Feet runners at the remaining miles--encouraging us by clapping, yelling and cheering, "You can run 4 miles in your sleep, this is nothing." Or, "Remember, not everyone can do this. You are strong. You are an athlete." Coach Paul would make sure we were okay, giving us tips to stay motivated, telling us stories about how he gets through each mile, reminding us about our form and encouraging us to stay focused and strong. At mile 18, my mind started drifting--the voice in my head was telling me I was tired. But, honestly I felt good physically. My body felt strong, I didn't have that awful stitch--which was a first, (a pain in my side) and I wasn't huffing or puffing. I knew my brain was playing tricks on me so I started really concentrating on the sound of our steps; we were in sync. I focused on the sound, "One, two, one, two, one, two" and was able to zone out for about one mile. At mile 19, I put on my headphones, but the voices came back--telling me I was exhausted. I tried to shake it off over and over again and then I got smart, and ran directly behind Coach Paul, following in his exact steps. I focused on his shoes--watching each foot hit the ground...I began to settle into a rhythm...I was feeling good, the negative voices were gone, and we began to run faster. At mile 20, I took off my headphones, ran next to Coach Paul and we picked up the pace--again. Coach Paul sprinted with one of the guys the last 200 yards, Jeanean, Sandi, Tiffany, Vicki, Maria, Travis, Michael, and I, along with the others (sorry if I left anyone out; my brain was mush) all finished together in our group...with such confidence and the glory that we did it! Congrats everyone!! Then we ate Bagels and cream cheese and Krispy Kreme donuts! That's when my muscles began to get sore, my knees started killing me, and my toes began cramping; but other than that---all is good!
A day later, I am not sore (except for my knees) and I know it has to do with the weight training I have been doing (Thank you Mike at Body Defined!) I also have the confidence from this long run to know that I can finish the Route 66 Marathon! We are all going to be just fine! For those of your running the Marine Corp, Detroit, and New York marathons, good luck! You will do great!!
**Again, as always feel free to comment. Heads up, if you do want to comment, apparently you have to *sign up* or *sign in* FIRST and then comment or else you may lose it. :-)
One more thing, if you are interested in riding the Trolly along the route of the Route 66 Marathon on Nov 1st or 2nd, please let me know. We are trying to get a count. (you can email me directly through the link above.)
Thanks to everyone and happy running!