I can count on one hand the number of 20 milers I’ve ran to date: Survivor week, Chicago Marathon, and last week’s indoor track run. Today was my fourth go-around, and we did it looking like pretty pretty princesses.
I was hesitant to make the drive down to the Monon this Am because of the insane weather that passed through Indiana and much of the south yesterday (prayers go out to everyone affected btw). Last night’s wind was nuts, though we were expecting it to die down some by morning, to a mere 20 mph instead of 45. I decided to suck it up, knowing if I didn’t make it to Indy, those 20 miles would NEVER happen.
Per usual, earlier in the week we discussed themes for today’s run. I immediately requested a princess theme, since we were well overdue for a girly week. I had seen this at the hospital gift shop and got inspired.
At 7a, Meghan, Christi, Kelly, Adriana and I arrived at the trail head, decked out in all the pink we could find. We even busted out our pink argyle socks made famous at the Winter Trail Quarter Marathon. Kelly supplied the tiaras. We certainly pulled off girly well.
We ran north for a mile and a half before turning around to meet Amy and Karen back at our starting point. We were motoring along during those 3 miles, maintaining a 9 min/mi pace, with mile 3 at 8:47 (!). We determined it was Christi’s exciting boy news that kept us trucking so quickly. On our way back, we passed a group of runners who spotted our tiaras and without hesitation said, “Oh! Congratulations!” They thought we were a bachelorette party. Or perhaps a large polygamist brigade? Good for a laugh. We stopped to pick up the other two girls, and another group of guys asked “Did you guys plan that?” No, sir. We just happened to ALL show up in head-to-toe pink. Plus tiaras. Though I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if one day it really did happen by coincidence.
The tiaras weren’t sitting well on our heads so we ditched them at the 3 mile mark and once again ran north. The wind wasn’t too bad so long as we were surrounded by trees. It was in the open fields that we really got whipped around. But the 30 degree temps weren’t nearly as terrible as we had originally thought.
Kel left us about an hour in since she was on the 90 minute plan. Christi’s legs were fresh after a week in Hawaii so she kept the rest of us running at a fast quip. I had a feeling those sub 10min/miles were only temporary and would never last the entire 20 miles (though surprisingly they did). We gelled up around at mile 8 and snapped another group pic.
From Carmel to BR, we found ourselves another pacer! No, not Christi. But a 4-foot, brown haired 12 (?) year old. There she was, all alone, rocking black leggings, a houndstooth coat and a flower behind her ear. And she was kicking all of our asses. We joked that she could likely outrun all of us in a marathon. Or perhaps she was a PSIT (Perfect Stranger In Training)? She paced us well until our next break where she jetted off with another young’n.
We lost Karen at our starting point while the rest of us continued south to finish up the remainder of our miles. Amy and Meghan: 2 miles out and back. Christi, Adriana, and I: 3.5 out and back. It was around this time that we all started feeling the pain. My legs were turning into lead, Christi’s foot was randomly going numb. We were a bunch of hot pink messes. But we were determined to finish what we set out to accomplish. This was Adriana’s first 20 miler, and Christi was determined to get those coveted double double digits. We took a few brief stops and let Adriana spearhead most of the conversation, which she does so well 😉 We discussed her kids, our jobs, and our training schedules for our fall marathons (yes, we are already talking about this).
Once we hit 86th street, our finish line was finally in sight. Christi pulled ahead while Adriana & I hung back as our bodies were in no shape to sprint. We rounded up our last mile in style, receiving another round of congrats from a couple guys who we had seen within the first hour of our run. They too had been out there for nearly 4 hours. Rockstars! Once my Garmin beeped, we were done. 20 miles complete! We walked it in and celebrated.
I stretched out my pseudo-broken bod before jumping in the car to head home. These long runs always leave me so sore, but with such a feeling of accomplishment. I immediately took a pic of my Garmin and sent it to my Daddy, who always gives me the post-run pat on the back I’m looking for 🙂
My training schedule has me running a couple more 20 milers before race day 7 weeks from today (!!). I’m hoping I’ll feel a bit better after those runs than I did after todays. But no matter what, I can count on my pretty pretty princesses to get me through whatever distance necessary.