It’s no secret that running has always been my least favorite part of the triathlon and I don’t say this very often but I had a great day of running yesterday! Yesterday my friend Romney and I ran the Haunted Hustle 10k. Zeus had a 6 mile run on my training plan and Liz wasn’t able to do the race, so it worked out well for me.
Romney and I planned to run together and I was just going to use the race as my training run for the day and follow the suggested paces in my plan. The weather forecast was calling for a lot of rain on race morning. It was cold and windy when I left for the race, but no rain! Romney and I got there early to watch the 1/2 marathoners start. While we were waiting it seemed to get colder and it started raining. Luckily, Lacey was there to save the day with a blanket I could use until the race started!
I actually felt really good during the race. The course was hilly, but Romney and I both stayed right on pace. We started off a little slower than our average pace and I was able to speed up slightly over the last mile or so (even with the hills). My foot and my knee were a little sore around mile 3, but the pain seemed to go away. For the first time in a really, really, really long time I don’t remember thinking “Is this run going to be over soon”? I finished the race and even commented to Romney that I felt really good and felt like I could have kept running. I grabbed a water and a chocolate milk and we headed out to find our friend Lynn who was out on the marathon course.
Lynn had trained for the Madison Marathon earlier in the summer but it was cancelled due to the hot weather. She went through all of the training again and was running her first marathon! There were huge storms predicted on race day, but luckily they came overnight. We first found Lynn around mile 16/17. The one thing I noticed while we were waiting for her was the lack of both runners and spectators. We haven’t been able to find out how many runners were doing the full marathon but everyone was pretty much out there on their own. I can see how the cold, rainy weather could have kept some spectators away, but it must have been lonely out on the course. It seemed like Lynn was out there doing a solo training run, which would have made it an even more challenging run.
After we ran with Lynn for a little, we drove over to around mile 19/20. Again, we got out of the car to cheer her on and see how she was doing. There was still absolutely no one around. Lynn was getting tired so Romney and I ran with her for a while to talk to her and keep her distracted and moving. After a mile or two (I hadn’t turned my Garmin back on at this point) we discussed the fact that we still had to turn around and get back to the car to make it to the finish line. There were also a few places we could have stopped off and cut off a few miles to walk over to the finish line. There was some discussion about what we should do until we finally reached “the point of no return” where it was the same distance to get back to the car or to get Lynn to the finish line so I turned my Garmin back on and we kept running with Lynn.
At the end of the day Romney and I ended up running closer to 13 miles instead of the 6 we had planned. Once again the running gods smiled down on me and I found an unopened Gu along the course. (This is the second time this has happened on long runs with Lynn when I forgot nutrition) 🙂 And for the second time that day I ran, and ran, and never once felt like I couldn’t wait for the finish line. My legs just kept moving, hills and all. My legs feet were a little sore when we finished but even at the end I was still feeling really good, considering I had run an extra 6-7 miles. I was also really excited that I could still run that distance (even with a break between the two runs) since I’ve only done one other long run since my half-Ironman in June.
I know it’s probably too good to be true, but I’m really hoping that I’ve had a running breakthrough. I actually enjoyed running yesterday. I didn’t want to die; I didn’t keep looking at my watch to find out how much further we had to run and after I finished I actually felt like eating something. (My stomach usually needs a few hours after a long run). I’ve always said I am much happier running in the cooler weather than in the middle of the hot and humid summer (once you get me out the door) 😉
I didn’t follow my plan very well today, but I was so excited to watch Lynn finish her race! She went through marathon training twice this year so she could reach this goal. And as soon as she finished the race she was already talking about the Madison Marathon next year!! Way to go, Lynn!