This morning was a 14-mile long run on the road.
It’s so nice to be back on the road and have a group of people to run with; it’s been YEARS since I’ve had that. When I was training for NYC, I often didn’t have folks run the whole way with me — we’d be doing different distances, or starting at different times, and I didn’t really have any friends in the group. Not that there weren’t nice people, just that I didn’t really know folks (a lot of whom had been training together for some time).
Long Runs with Friends
But now I’m running with my friend Lindsey. Lindsey and I met back in the Mixon days, when I was hanging with my friends Stephanie (yet another Stephanie! Truly, I like lots of different Stephanies) and Amy. I’ve run more marathons to this date with Stephanie and Amy than any other friend; Stephanie’s mom has cheered me on in a good three or four marathons, certainly more than my own parents .
The three of us were really close, close enough to be part and parcel of weddings (theirs, as I am a good 10 years older). I ran my marathon PR with those gals. Anyway, Lindsey also ran with us, more with me. We trainined for a couple of Chicago marathons together.
It was really nice. We’re joined by another friend, Brenda, who is a new friend to me — we met over the years at a Christmas party and hit it off — and my trail running friend, Kelley. Kelley missed today, but Brenda, Lindsey, and I ran the whole way together. And it was great. I have really missed having people to run with like this. Trail running, at least for me, tends to be a bit more solitary. Jason and I stayed together a lot during our Pocatello runs but we did tend to spread out at times, especially at the end when he felt stronger and I was slower.
I was dreading the heat but we got started early and by some miracle, the route was mostly shaded. I felt better than I had on any previous long run, which surprised me because I’d anticipated feeling crappy after two weeks of balmy, little-running, lots of eating, European holiday. And we actually ran faster this week than the last long run we’d done together. It makes me sad that I’m going to miss the next two long runs.
Afterward, I met my friend Stacey at Barton Springs and we sat and soaked and got caught up. That felt so good! I’d forgotten how nice it was. Again, back in the Mixon days, we used to make a habit of going to Deep Eddy pool to soak and chat after a run. These memories come back to me and make me realize just how much I’ve missed the cameraderie of a tight training group.
Prepping for Baltic Run Ride
I’m going to talk to Coach Gilbert about doing my next long run this Thursday. I need to do 16. However, I’m getting ready to bike a bunch, crewing for Claire and Russ Secker while they do the Baltic Run (I leave Thursday evening; the run starts on Sunday, a week from tomorrow).
The run is in five stages: stage 1=63K, stage 2=67K, stage 3=72K, stage 4=63K, and stage 5=59K, for a grand total of 324K over 5 days. We’ll travel from Berlin to Karlshagen, by the Baltic Sea, so essentially across Germany via the bike path that runs from Berlin to the Usedom area. There are 1.6K in a mile, so you do the math. It’s a lot of riding. Hopefully, I will come back to my running and not feel like I’ve lost anything.
Adventures ahead! I love it.