This morning was the CWRRC Spring 10 Miler. Jenn and I had 20 miles on the training schedule so we decided to knock out the first 10 prior to the race and then finish it up race style while taking advantage of the course support! We made a plan to meet at 6:30 AM so we would have adequate time to get our first 10 miles in. Of course, the directions I had to get there took me by way of China and I was 15 minutes late..oops! We quickly got ready and headed out on the trail. It was pretty uneventful but it was great to be able to run in capris and a long sleeve shirt. I was actually smiling because I didn't have to wear layers. It just felt better not to be weighed down by all of the winter gear! With me being late and a restroom break along the way we were just shy of 10 miles when we started the race but we figured we would just make up that mileage at the end. We started out slowly and I could tell Jenn was having a rough time of it. Around mile two she seemed incredibly frustrated. I kept trying to keep her spirits high talking about anything but running. Shortly after this I finally had to tell her that I couldn't help her if I didn't know what was wrong. Once she told me it was her calf I had something to work with. I continued to run with her for awhile asking her the typical questions. Do you want to stop? Will it do you more harm than good if you try to finish? She told me she really wanted to try and finish but she didn't know if doing so would cause more harm than good. At this point we were close to the 3 mile mark and I told her I was going to need to speed up in order for my hip to stop hurting as a result of my stride being shortened too much. I made her promise me she would stop if the pain got unbearable and then I reluctantly continued on with a promise to go back out on the course and run her in. Lengthening my stride immediately eliminated my hip pain. The great thing about this course was that it was a loop course so I knew I would be able to check in with Jenn. When I went past the finish line to start my second loop I let Jenn's husband know what was going on and I told him that I was going to finish the run and then head back out and get Jenn. I saw Jenn 3 times during miles 3-6. Each time I checked in with her she was running and she said she was going to finish and each time I told her she needed to stop if the pain got too bad. As I approached the finish line, I knew I couldn't stop when I got through the chute because I had to finish out my 20 miles. I literally stopped for a tenth of a second and then just kept on running back out towards the course. The girl that handed me the medal gave me a funny look. What can I say...distance runners are crazy sometimes!! Once I hit 20 miles, I started walking back out on the course to find Jenn. I cheered on each of the runners and eventually found Jenn right at mile 9. As we were finishing up her last mile, we came upon to two girls that were walking. We quickly learned that one was 7 weeks pregnant and the other was her running partner. We encouraged them and got them to start running again. Now one thing you need to know about Jenn and I is that we have a lot of random conversations during our long runs so we immediately started the random babble when the other girls joined us. They asked us to keep talking because we were fun and we were keeping them motivated. Less than a half mile from the finish Jenn's husband joined us and the 5 of us ran it through to the finish! Once Jenn grabbed her medal we walked for a second and then she wanted to finish up her 20 miles because she was too close not to! We ran around the parking lot and back onto the trail and shortly thereafter Jenn's watch indicated she had hit the 20 mile mark. In the end I ran 21.1 miles today. I don't regret one single decision Jenn or I made today. There is a lot to learn from each and every long run. There will be hard ones, there will be easy ones, and there will be downright painful ones. Today's was okay and we finished it and that is matters!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inpsire me!!