8 Miles Later, I Was Last

Friday night while I was trolling Facebook I came across a post from Tri-State Running Company, a local running store, about the 6th annual Run and Slug your choice to run the 4 mile loop once or twice, timed for free! How could I not sign up, I committed to do the loop twice and after my submission thought, “Holy crap what did I do?” I haven’t run more than five since November and that was a painfully long 10k Thanksgiving morning, would my foot in new shoes tolerate 8 miles??? OK, breathe. I didn’t have to do it twice, I could stop at one, I could do six and walk the last two, my 10k is next weekend and that’s what I planned for today and then a few short runs this week.

This morning started out at the cemetery, visiting my Nana, it’s been two years. Still pinned to the vase on her headstone was my bib from the library run last summer. My mother, sister and I shared cookies and chatted and off I went feeling like I had a little angelic support with me.

Upon check in I was dubbed “the straggler” and that name would prove to hold weight for the day. I took off with the intent to run six and walk the last two, climbing the hill at the end of the first loop I felt good. Seeing my mother drive by and wave around mile two was the push I needed to get to the end of the first half. My new shoes
(second run in them) felt amazingly supportive, the laces stayed tied the entire time, it was already getting hot, but when the timer asked me stopping or going through I replied “going through” I knew in that moment when I came back to this spot no one would be there the clock read 51:25, I am slow but I was not unhappy with this. I began the second loop. I’ll admit to walking the big hill this time through, I knew if I didn’t making the six miles was going to be questionable, making the turn onto old main street and onto Rt. 18 I passed the school where I taught my first year of Kindergarten, on the radio came the song “You Gotta Be” I used that in my first graduation program and I knew right then anything less that running the entire 8 miles was unacceptable.

As Runkeeper told me I was at 7.5 miles, I forgot to change my notifications before I started, my time was 1:38 and ahead of me I could see a woman walking in a blue skirt and yellow top, my mom. I cried a little. I made the top of the hill and as I thought the tent was there but no one else.

I was last, but I ran all 8 miles. My first 8 miler, and certainly a lot more that I thought I was capable of right now. I have no doubt that my goal of completing a half this year is doable.

Update: Tuesday I got the official results and while I was last, I was less than 20 minutes behind the person who finished ahead of me.

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