Monday, September 16, 2013

Pushing Through

Long runs can take a long time. I like to think of them as journeys.

You can experience a variety of emotion, physical challenge and weather all on the same long run. 

September 7th's 18 miler was just that.

After a tune-up massage on Thursday night,  I foam rolled and crossed my fingers that my sore hip and quad would cooperate during Saturday morning's group training run.

That morning, I met Jeff and Carl, along with many others fellow marathoners-in-training, down at the Montrose site.

The weather was cooler than expected for what would be a hot day. Even still, it was humid.

The run started off ok. As we pulled into the first aid station at Diversey, I started to experience the lightheaded symptoms I had two weeks ago. I wonder where this is coming from. I've managed to train for five marathons and never have this.

I didn't want to give up 2.5 miles in to an 18 mile run, but at the same time, I didn't want to push too hard and pass out either. I decided to slow down the pace a bit and stay in the back of the group where I could trail off if needed.

I let Jeff know I wasn't feeling 100% and encouraged him to go on at the front of the group without me. He checked in with Carl, our group leader, and then came back to me. He said not to worry about it, he would run with me.

I have known Jeff since the summer of 2008 when I trained for my first marathon. With the exception of one year, he's been there with our group each year. Last year, Jeff and I ran the entire Chicago Marathon course together. Talk about stars aligning! This year, Jeff's training is going quite well. He seems stronger this year than in any other year I've known him. He could have easily continued with Carl at the front of the group, leading the way down to McCormick Place and back. Instead, he came to hang back with me. What a great friend!

We chased our group from a distance down to the turn around, then headed back north. Some miles I felt better (physically or mentally), others worse. The clouds parted to sun, back to clouds, to rain, to overcast again.

We talked about anything we could think of. Any topic could fly except to talk about running.

In the end, we finished where we started. 18 miles was complete.

A McDonald's fountain coke was purchased on the way home followed by a check mark placed next to the date where 18 miles was written.
The run wasn't pretty, but it was done.

[Thanks, Jeff]

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