I mentioned this over the weekend, but here’s a bit more detail.
On Saturday, I got up at the ungodly hour of 4:30 a.m. and met Chris and Erica for some rural running. We’ve stuck to our plan of running on gravel for most of our longer runs, and I think it’s paying off. Plus it’s just nice to get out of town.
So we headed out in the dark and made our way through town before heading out on the gravel — still in the dark, which is a bit disconcerting out in the country. I think I need to bust out my headlamp and reflective vest.
The run offered several opportunities to turn and make it 15, 17, whatever miles. But we just shrugged off each turn and kept going. And I ended the day with 20.4 miles, and Erica had close to 22.
And it was fine. It was great, even. I got a huge burst of energy around mile 16 and honestly felt like I could have run 30 miles. I almost asked Chris to just run a few more after the 20 (Erica had to head out of town), but I didn’t. In retrospect, I wish I had because later he said he probably was game.
Funny how that happens.
We ran easily and conversationally the whole way, not worrying about time or pace and ended up averaging about 9:05/mile for the whole run.
It’s enough to make me think really hard about the Sioux Falls marathon in 3 weeks. Erica and I told ourselves if we could muster through the 20 with no problems, we could do the race.
It feels good to have taken so much time off for a weird calf issue (which feels a little sketchy again right now … no idea what is up with that) and yet still be able to go run for 3 hours like it’s just no big deal.
More than anything, it was 3 hours of chatting, laughing and just being quiet with friends. On a gravel road with the sun coming up.
That’s the kind of morning that makes whatever came before or after it (work) bearable. And I’m grateful I was able to do it.
Now I need to figure out what to do this week. Three weeks out from a marathon … I’ve used this week to run another 20 in the past, but I’ve also started to taper down at this point. I follow no training plan, which is freeing and frustrating at the same time. So I’ll either head out for another 20 this weekend, or cut it down to 16 and get ready for the race.
But either way, I’m starting to feel like I probably will be at that starting line. And Erica will be, too.
(PS: The actual best part of the run was after … when Chris busted out chocolate milk for everyone, and then when Philip made sausage-cheese-salsa omelets. I think that right there is why I married him — his breakfast cooking skills.)