Saturday, November 30, 2013

Running with Facebook Friends and the Day I Didn't Mean to Run a Marathon

Last year on Thanksgiving about 7 of us running friends from our Facebook group, Runner's Anonymous, got together on Thanksgiving to run before we chowed down on our big meals. This year we decided we wanted to meet up again but waited until the Saturday after Thanksgiving when we would hopefully have some more time to run and not have to hurry home to our Thanksgiving feasts.  Plus, our Facebook group has grown so much (over 400 members now) and so it was going to be fun to meet more runners in real life.
 Robert Merriman suggested a big park in Bluffdale that has a big 1 mile outer loop and a  smaller inner loop so that we could run and still see each other often.  

 Since I have now officially started training for my 100 mile run coming up in February the  training schedule calls for big mileage on the weekends.  I'm not necessarily following it  exactly but I'm trying my best.  

 The plan for today's run was to meet at 8:00 am and run as long as you want.  I arrived at  about 6:45 am and started in the dark.  I wanted to get a few miles in before the group got  there.  I wore my headlamp and set out on a nice paved path and went around and around  the 1 mile loop.  As it started to get lighter a few cars came in and so I finished up the loop I  was on and headed over to say hello to the friends that had gotten there.    
 My buddy Josh Hansen and other running friend Becca Wood had come and I am always  happy to see their smiling faces.
 My friend Cory Reese, who is the 100 mile maniac champ, and the one who inspires me to run  these long distances had text me a few days previously and asked about running this weekend  since he was in town with his family. I told him to come join the RA group, which he happily did.  I was thrilled to see him and his wife, Mel, and son, Jackson.  

 Since he is known far and wide for his mad jumping skills we all decided we needed a lesson  from the pro. And were we ever in for a treat!  I don't know if I should give away his secrets but I  was so surprised to learn that the very first rule is to set the camera on the GROUND!  Well,  that just made perfect sense.  The other tricks I won't give away.  Maybe someday you can  invite him to run with you and you can learn the tricks from the master.  
 Instantly we were all jumping for joy, or jumping like Mexican jumping beans, or just jumping  with pure delight because we were being taught by the master himself.  This started turning into  a jumping party instead of a running party!
 After chatting, jumping, snacking on some treats, drinking hot chocolate and hot cider, it was  time to head out and get some more mileage in.
 Robert Merriman, Papa Kunz, me, Elise Kunz, and Gay Tregaskis.  These people are all such  awesome friends and amazing people.  I feel so blessed to know each one of them and look  forward to the times I get to see them.

 The group started breaking up and people were leaving.  I knew I wasn't done yet.  I had a lot  more to do.  I was so grateful that Cory ran quite a few miles with me.  It does make the time go  faster when there are people to chat with. We talked about the upcoming 100 mile race in  Vegas, and that helped ease my mind a little.  I know I won't be running all 100 miles.  There's  just no way.  I'm glad to know that it's OK if I walk a lot.  I'm sure I will be.  Even with all the  training I just know my body will be hating me and screaming at me as I get up past 50 miles.  From what I've heard and read is that it then becomes a mind over body experience.  This is  what I want to be able to accomplish.  I want to see how strong-willed and determined at that  point I can be.  I want to see if I have the mental capacity to just keep pushing and going when  my body says enough!  I just want to know what that experience will feel like on my own, without  reading what everyone else says it feels like. 
 After I said good-bye to everyone I was then alone to keep going and get in as much mileage  as I could.  I got my ipod out and listened to music.  I have a Christmas playlist and so that was  super fun to listen to.  I mixed up my loops and ran in different directions.  There were different  routes and mile markers all along the trail so I would totally change things up all the time.  Luckily I had my Garmin and so it kept track of all mileage done for the day.

 At mile 17.5 Cory text me and asked how far I had gone.  I told him and he gave me a thumbs  up.  He wanted a report of my mileage when I was done.   That gave me motivation to just keep  going a bit longer. 

 At mile 23 I just wanted to be done so I got in the car and ate a piece of cold pizza.  I thought I  would end it there but then I thought I could get out and do one more mile.  Then I stopped and  got a drink and stretched at mile 24.  I text Mark at home and asked if he needed me home for  anything or if I was OK to keep going. He was so supportive and said all was well at home and  to keep going if I needed to.  As I would complete each mile I thought I would end there.  I was  getting so bored out there alone.  But as I kept getting closer to 26.2 I thought, "A Marathon?,  why not?"
 So nearly 6 hours later, with the watch paused for jumping, visiting, and snacking, I had  completed my unexpected marathon for the day.  Although I was bored for a lot of those later  miles I felt happy and more excited for the big race in February.  I text Cory and told him that  26.2 felt like a good number to end on for the day.  He was very kind and responded back to  me with this nice advice.  "To finish a 100 miler you have to be able to tolerate some  mindlessness and boredom and be able to do crazy things like run 26.2 miles just for the  fun of it.  You have the most important key to success."

This is fun right?

Bring on Vegas!!

Wait....not yet....I still have more training to do first.


Becca Jane said...

Such a fun morning! I loved getting to visit with you a little bit more. Thanks for jumping with me!

Cory Reese said...

Do you want to know what I am so, so excited about? I am so happy I'll be able to see you cross the finish line of your first 100! You were running strong that day. You are going to do AWESOME.