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.
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?
This is fun right?
Bring on Vegas!!
Wait....not yet....I still have more training to do first.