This weekend was once again rainy on Saturday morning, but the rain stopped before our run and left behind a miserable level of humidity in the air. We set out around 7:30 am with the half marathon training group to get in 10 miles. For many, this was their first double digit mile run. I spent a little bit of time with each person in the pace group I was running with moving along and sharing conversation, singing songs that were either really on or just made sense for the timing. Nothing like using Bon Jovi lyrics when 5 miles has been completed to mark that “we’re halfway there.” That wasn’t even my idea, but it was a good one and I sang along (badly) because running while thinking about something else is helpful. A little later, I sang the opening lyrics to Tom Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane.” It was on someone’s phone because they were playing it aloud and I like to think the combination of my (terrible) singing and the laughs that ensued helped lighten the mood a little. We completed 10 miles and I changed shirts and headbands for my next leg.
As it turned out, I had 15 mile day on the schedule. So, 4 of us that were mentoring with the half marathon group set out for our 5 additional miles and went the opposite way on the trail as we had with our 10 mile group. We were a little short of 2.5 miles when we reached an end to the trail and the 2 people in front of Jane and I continued on the road that was there. Jane and I turned around and ran back toward the start. Then, I decided to start singing (badly) again. This time, I destroyed “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins while also giving Jane a recap of my Tom Petty and Bon Jovi singing. When we approached our starting/ending place, I wouldn’t look at my watch when Jane asked me how far we’d been. I told her when we hit 14.86 that we were the furthest I’d ever been on a run. We passed our starting place to make up the distance we needed to get 15 miles so we could walk back for a cool down. My second outfit was soaked. We walked back and met with the other 2 people we’d set out with and did our post run hip exercises and stretches. We all had a photo and Jane and I had a photo to commemorate our 15 mile day.
I then hopped into the car and went through a drive through fast food place for a cheeseburger, fries, and a mango frozen drink. It was fantastic!
The next day, it was once again a little rainy in the morning. My husband and I set out to a state park for a 5k race where I’d again meet up with people and finish my training miles afterward. It was humid and it was hot and I didn’t have an extra shirt that day. I stopped running during the race and walked along with someone I knew and offered a little insight on running hills. I mostly listened in and ran/walked along with them. In the end, I took off a little bit toward the finish and got it done in less than 33 minutes officially. I was actually proud of my time considering I’d taken a pause during my run. The next 3 miles to make up training miles were brutal. My stomach felt like I needed to find a bathroom. My clothes were dripping with sweat. BUT, Jane was with me. My husband, who ran a nearly 20 minute 5k, was with me. My friend Robin and her husband, Bob were with me. We shared conversation and laughs. I commented about the lovely shade of green in the still part of the water despite knowing that it was probably a gross slimy texture. We talked about cars driving crazy fast down country roads. I realized I would have gotten lost if I hadn’t brought other people with me to re-run the 5k course and that I obviously don’t pay attention to the scenery when I run in a race. I was absolutely miserable in the moment, but I’m somehow able to look back at it fondly and grin about it. I mean, both days had their own sorts of challenges to face. I teamed up with people and did what had to be done and now they’re pieces of these memories I’ll have of training for my first marathon. I peopled! (ha, ha) If you know me, you know how I’m at least a little anxious around people.
I believe I properly paced myself for the past couple of long runs, but especially this weekend. I was not sore when I set out to run afterward. I was tired. I required a little nap on Sunday to recharge. I just didn’t have a sore body or aches anywhere like I think I would have if I’d pushed too hard on speed instead of getting the distance in.
One great thing about mentoring during training for a marathon is that I have a variety of people to share my running passion. I can set out and see people accomplishing something they probably didn’t imagine themselves doing. I can draw inspiration from them and their stories. It energizes me to see people celebrating their milestones and getting through this training. It helps me get through mine. I’m grateful that I get to be a part of it.
Time for the half marathon is approaching. We have a few more weeks and then it’ll be go time. Then, I’ll be that much closer to running a full marathon. I’m feeling more confident about the miles. I’m not fully sure about the time, but I figure it doesn’t matter as long as I finish. I really feel like I gain so much from running and I just can’t believe that a sport has become so important to me. I can’t imagine not running.