Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Ground

Date Night was a total blast, as was sleeping in Saturday. I woke up at 4:30 to a lightning show and heavy rain. I hoped my running buddies bagged their run.

They did, and rescheduled for 6:00 this morning. Under clear skies and 57 degrees, Eddie, Jim and I were joined by Heather, Sara, Joelle and Kristen. The ladies were sniping about the cold ... Go figure! Team Chicago's plan was to run 13, as they are two weeks from their 26.2 in the Windy City. I hoped to run at least 19.

At Mile Two, a runner in his late 50s, looking fitter than Lance Armstrong, joined us. We could tell he was looking for company. So Mike joined us. Mike the Slacker has run 170 marathons and nearly 90 ultra marathons. I told him the only Ultra this group would ever do with him was a Michelob Ultra.

At Mile 10, Eddie, the only runner not signed up for a marathon, started talking like he wanted to run 20. We branched off, heading back on the Grassland course along Old Natchez Road and the Harpeth River, which was high from all the rain. The rest of the fun, feisty group, which included Jim, a lymphoma survivor, and Kristen, who had three heart surgeries when she was young, headed back to Grassland Elementary, our starting point.

Eddie and I found a rhythm. But around Mile 14 in some hills in the Montpier subdivision, Eddie's knee started to bother him. We settled on 10:15s, the pace Eddie and his swollen knee seemed to prefer.

At Mile 16, we hit the famed Old Natchez hill for the second time before turning right on Moran Road. I felt decent through 17.5. Eddie was hurting but showing guts. At 18.5, I started to feel it in my back. In fact, I was now feeling it all over. Eddie and I kept encouraging each other, finishing 19.6 miles in 3 hours, 30 minutes, a 10:44/mile pace. We made five pit stops, averaging five minutes at each. I won't have that luxury October 25th.

19.6 is a new milestone for me (by 3.6 miles) and for tough Eddie. The run was great preparation for the big kahuna in less than a month. I'm sore and have a mild headache. Otherwise, all is well. I will run one more long one soon and then start tapering.


Ronni Gordon said...

Congratulations on your milestone. That is so cool. I think I told you this before – I ran a half and then couldn't imagine putting in the time and effort to run a whole marathon. As I'm sure you know, it's especially hard with kids. I really admire you.

Jim said...

Thanks, Ronni. I really believe Eddie's companionship helped. Our mutual encouragement made a difference.

Doing this isn't easy, but it is rewarding to break through barriers. I am eager for the challenge in Cape Cod!

And speaking of admiration, you are linked on my blog primarily because Dori and I admire you so much.

Love from the Browns, Jim