Holy Cow!! Two weeks…..only two weeks! Ahhhhhh!!! I can’t believe it’s here already. This race has been in the making for me for almost a year and a half. I am looking forward to seeing all my training come to fruition. It has been a long road of ups and downs, including a lot of disappointment. With the increase of warmer weather and humidity, my training runs have gone up and down. My body is still adjusting to the Spring/Summer temps. I really just have to focus on going into this run with a strong mindset and focus on being prepared. I have done all that I can, and now it’s time to just wait and see what the day will bring.
Just recently, I ran my last long run. My training plan had me doing a 7hr run one week and the next week doing a 12hr run as my last long run before beginning my taper. With my work and kiddo schedule, I knew I couldn’t get two major runs in that close together. This run also landed on Mother’s Day weekend and I didn’t want to have to miss out on any of my time with my son. So, I was able to get Monday off of work. I posted online to my local running group, Harrisburg River Runners, letting everyone know what my plan was and asking for people to come out and run with me during the day to help support. I wasn’t sure if I would get many people available to help due to it being a workday, but it was worth a shot!
A couple of ladies were unable to come run with me because they had to work, but they brought me some goodies instead!! Kim brought me homemade no-bake cookies and Marj brought me Gatorade, cookies and a sweet little surprise! 🙂 The night before, I got everything packed and ready to go. I planned to run loops of the New Cumberland Borough Park. Mainly because it’s close to home, had working toilets and water (always important!), and had a pavilion I could set up as my base camp. The only downside to the park was that the loop is only 3/4 of a mile. 0_o Eek! I was a bit nervous about how I would handle running that little loop non-stop for hours on end.
Originally I had planned to at least get 7hrs in, but as the day progressed I decided to go all the way to 9hrs, since I knew I wouldn’t have a chance to get that 12hr run in. I started running just around 8am and was a mile in when my first pacer arrived! 🙂 Yay! Karen and I had met in the last year at Fleet Feet Sports because we were participating in their training programs. Karen and I ran a few laps together, catching up and chatting about my upcoming race when Nada arrived to join us! 🙂 The three of us ran together for about 3 miles or so, chatting about everything under the sun! It was such a great distraction! By the time the two of them left I was well on my way to a half marathon distance.
I was feeling pretty good and maintaining a fairly consistent pace still. I was wanting to start the morning off with as many miles in the 10s as I could…..so far so good! I ran alone for about a half hour/forty minutes when Annie arrived. Annie and I had actually never met before that day! It was a real nice few miles getting to know each other. We talked a lot about how we came into running. Turns out, Annie has run quite a few Ragnars! Cool!
Annie headed out and I was off running on my own again. I had another half hour or so on my own until my next helper arrived. Diana and I hadn’t really officially met, but we both did travel out to Pittsburgh last year with the River Runners for the marathon weekend. Turns out, we share the same birthday! 🙂 It’s a small world after all 😉 We began running and not long after, her niece Jillian joined us to run. Another funny thing, Jillian and I had literally just met a few days prior at the Harrisburg Senators Beer 1K!! Lol 🙂 I love how the running community can be so big, yet so small! 🙂 Having all these ladies coming in and out really made the hours and the miles fly by. I seriously don’t know what I would have done if I had to do all that alone.
Just as I was refueling and saying my goodbyes to Diana and Jillian, we noticed a familiar runner all in pink coming into the park. It was Bekah. She decided to stop down quick, while on her daily run, and catch a couple laps with me. This was the first time all day I went from one set of pacers to another without any solo time. It was nice, cause it kept me moving and grooving!! Bekah didn’t have too much time available to her, but she did run with me for a couple laps. She kept me moving and even at one point had me going at a 9:45 pace! Woah! At this point, I was at 30 miles and was a bit surprised I was able to run that pace. Mind you, it wasn’t consistent, but it was good to know that my body could still do it. 😉 Bekah was on her way and I was refilling my water bottle when a familiar white mini van pulled up. It was Julia! 🙂 Julia joined me for a couple laps which involved more walking as I was trying to eat and get some more fuel in me for the last few miles. At this point, it was around 3/3:30p (I think, it was hard to keep track of time!), and I was starting to feel tired but was still in real good shape with not too many aches and pains. I had decided to go until I hit 40 miles or 9hrs, whichever came first. I was already at 32 miles and thought with an hour and a half to go I could totally hit 40 miles. Julia wasn’t able to stay long, as she had to pick up her son from school, but, some company is better than no company!!! 🙂 This was my first section running alone in a couple hours. There was a little bit of an adjustment to running alone again. I was getting tired and the heat and sun were beginning to catch up with me and my pace. With just about 3 miles to go until I hit 40 miles, my big sister Abigail came to join me. I was mainly power walking at this point since my legs were tired and I knew I was close to being finished, I didn’t want to push it. I want to make it to that damn starting line without injury!! Ha, ha ,ha. Abigail and I power walked/jogged those last few miles together. It was nice to end my day and my journey with my big sis alongside me. 🙂 At 8 hours, 55 minutes and 37 seconds I hit 40 MILES!! Waahooo!! 🙂
I was super stoked with how that day went. I couldn’t have asked for better temps, better company or a better performance. I am happy to have that as my last long run before the big day. I am feeling excited and prepared for this next huge step. 🙂 But I know for sure, the run wouldn’t have gone off as well as it had without the help of 10 amazing ladies…….so, a very HUGE THANK YOU goes out to:
KIM 🙂 MARJ 🙂 KAREN 🙂 NADA 🙂 ANNIE 🙂
DIANA 🙂 JILLIAN 🙂 BEKAH 🙂 JULIA 🙂 ABIGAIL 🙂
Thank you ladies!!! 🙂 RIVER RUNNERS ROCK!! 🙂