So last Saturday I had my last long run pre-MCM. It's a little farther out from race day than I normally like to have my longest mileage run but I figure an extra week of taper won't kill me. I got up bright and early to meet the Team in Training staff to prep for our "dress rehearsal" run. TNT's last long run is not only the longest mileage of the season but also an opportunity for team members to test out everything they plan to wear/eat/drink on race day. We also do everything we can to emulate what race day will be like for them, including water stations, "race" bibs, our own little finish line (finisher's tape included) and "medals". It's pretty fun!
As usual, before we start our run we have a mission moment in which we talk about an honoree who we are dedicating our run to. This run was being dedicated to Effy, a vivacious little girl that some of us had the pleasure of meeting last season and who is still fighting her battle with Leukemia. We even took a group pic with all us doing the thumb's up (something that Effy did before we all started our run last year).
Two of my mentees this season. So proud of them!
With that, we were off! Thankfully I had some good friends who, although not part of TNT, were out for a run that morning anyway and joined me for the first 10 miles of the run. The miles always fly by when you share them with good friends! My plan was to keep the first half of my run around 10:35-11:00 min/mile pace then drop pace to closer to 10:15 min/mile for the second half. That didn't happen. I am horrible at keeping my pace slow in the beginning and I'm naturally a chaser so every time someone sped up, I did too. At one point we had sped up to a 9:30 min/mile. Oops! It seemed like in no time at all we were back at our starting point and my friends went off to breakfast while I continued on to get my remaining 12 miles in.
10 miles with these smiling faces
We kept running along until around mile 13 when Janine started hurting. She tried to convince me to keep running but I wasn't having it. I had a gnarly side cramp anyway so I was grateful for the opportunity to try to work it out. We were going to finish that run together no matter what! We fell into a manageable run/walk pattern and got it done! We both crossed that finish line with huge smiles on our faces and were promptly given our "medals".
Janine is my inspiration! BTW, that's cheese in my hand.
22 miles done!
Are you training for a Fall race? Which race are you training for? How's training going?