Sunday, September 13, 2009

September 5 Update

Again, another first for longest mileage I have never done in my life.  We were scheduled to run 18 mile this week. I was having trouble with my piriformis all week and was worried I wouldn't be able to run at all. But I made sure to stretch, and ice and pray a lot. Thursday night  I got very nervous and started to question this whole thing.  And then Friday I came to my senses. If I have to walk some , so be it. I had to put my goals in perspective once again. I want to have fun, stay healthy and finish. So I decided to just take it easy and get the mileage in however it came. Once the pressure was of I was actually excited to push myself to 18 miles. And I was going to have the best running buddy ever there with me. If you remember STeph wasn't going to be running on Saturday because she was doing the Disney half on Sunday. She sent me and email on Thursday and told me that she would be riding her bike with me so I didn't have to run alone. WHAT? I mean come on? Who does that? Only the best teammate EVER. When I told her she didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn just for me her response was "Are you kidding, I am not leaving you to your own devices." Hmmmm what do you think she meant by that? :) Well whatever I was so grateful for her at 6 am Saturday morning. The run actually turned out to be really awesome. I made sure to warm up and stretch a ton before we got going and I started out at a slower pace to make sure my legs were ready. There was Steph right beside me on her bike. We got to chat and catch up just like if she were running. I felt quite special having my own bike escort. We plodded along and I made sure to stretch at each aide station and everything seemed to be going along just fine. STeph even pulled out her Iphone and started playing music so we wouldn't get bored. It was great. Our route took us up the same trail we usually do and then after Irvine Blvd, we stayed left and went up to Portola which we followed all the way to Peters Canyon. This week we ran into the canyon and all the way to the end before turning around. It was lovely because in the canyon it was still shady so it was cool. And by then the sun had come out so it was starting to warm up. I was grateful for the shade but wow the trail running was tough. Had to be super careful of footing and Steph was still on the bike so she was working hard too. We made it to Noah at the aid station and had been misinformed that we could turn around there. He did not like being the bearer of bad news that we still had  three quarter miles to go before we could turn around, especially when you look and it was straight up. He got on the phone and made sure the other coach rephrased her directions. So we gulped a little water and took off. It was tough but it was fun to do something a little different. Steph went on ahead because it was too hard for her to stay with me and go that slow up the hill. We made it to the top with high fives and renewed energy to head back DOWN. :) 
As we were going down we were passing tons of people on the trail. Teammates, HS cross country teams, friends and families out hiking.  We passed one group of ladies and when we got past them Steph heard them say "I think she got the better end of the deal" meaning Steph on the bike. We got laughing about it later and I said "I beg to differ, I got the  better end of the deal, cause otherwise I would have been out here by myself." Well I know I have tons of teammates to run with but Steph and I really click and most of the time it is just us so it would be tough to find someone to run with as consistently. So we get to the bottom of that hill and Noah sent us up the other hill from our 16 mile run. So Steph jumps off the bike for this one to run with me. The trail is super steep and super narrow. So we head up and she has the iphone in hand and it's playing and she is trying to find a good beat for us cause the uphill is a little tough. She finally settles on Ragdoll by Aersosmith and we are cracking ourselves up singing and trodding up this trail. We get to the top and start dancing in the little field. Yes, Ragdoll dance party at the top, which put us in a fit of giggles. It was so fun. Ok back to work. Away we went back down the hill and back to the barn. The rest of the run was pretty uneventful thankfully. I stayed in the shade for the most part which kept me cool and actually got a little second wind toward the end and got to running at a pretty good clip. There were a few walk breaks to stretch out the legs and in the end it was a great run. I came in with my bike escort to cheers from my teammates at 3 hours and 28 minutes. My average pace was 11:36, which considering all the hills I am quite pleased with.  All in all it was a great day and a huge accomplishment. I couldn't have done it without all the encouragement from my team and the support of family and friends, and of course the best running buddy ever. Who by the way set a PR at the Disney half the next morning. You GO girl!!! 

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