This past week I have devoted myself to pressing on my running and never quitting, no matter how bad the pain is. Before every run, I watch a YouTube video some on races, some on inspirational stories, thinking to myself, if they give everything then why can't I? I have been recently looking at the Team Hoyt stories, and have become really intrigued with these two gentlemen. I have read the book, "It's Only A Mountain" and highly suggest it to anyone out there who needs a good story to get themselves motivated to run.
Anyway, this past weekend I ran roughly ten miles every day this week. I ran ten miles on Monday, ten on Wednesday and six on Thursday. Friday ended up horrible weather and there's no excuse, but I just didn't run. I figured I wanted to rest up my legs for a good 13 miler on Saturday with my two running friends from McDonald, Aaron and Josh.
Saturday's run had many emotions going through my head. First of which started out right before the run. All three of us were tight or sore in some area of the body. I was sore in my quads, which rarely happens for me. But, I did a few plyos before we got going and hoped it would loosen up. We ended up running the 13.1 Mill Creek Distance Classic Half Marathon course and we went at a decent pace, talking the whole time, especially about high school cross country. Around mile eleven, Josh had to use the bathroom, but we found a creepy guy who seemed to be following us for quite some time. Josh was nervous and thus pressed on as we continued in our journey for a good time. After a few more steps, Josh's instinct was to find a bathroom as soon as possible, and found a perfect tree to do so. Aaron and I continued on, stopped at a steel post and stretched, only hoping to loosen up. We then talked about the upcoming 50k in Mill Creek and how I was excited to see that both of us would be running it, and Aaron claimed he wants to do the 25k and "Go for the Record." I said that is fine and I wouldn't be backing down from this milestone. The 50k is going to be completed, one way or another.
By this time, Josh's break was up and we continued to press on, heading over to the infamous "Steps Hill". This is a series of three, what I like to call "Mini-bursts" of hills that will test the willingness to push through pain of any runner. I started to lag behind a bit, thinking to myself, these three hills are going to test my legs physically and my mind mentally, and I just need to stay positive and push through all the pain possible. Step one, completed and slow. Step two, looking pretty good and feeling like there is strength left in my legs. Step three, feels like I'm in first place, and I'm powering through this thing. Aaron looks at me and says, we can do this, and we're not giving in. He looks at me, as I stare off into the distance and says "do you think we can break 1:40" as we are approaching the final hill into the finish. I claimed, "I don't know but it's going to be close...[later reassuring to Aaron and myself] I don't think so, it's a pretty long hill." We eclipsed the 1:40 mark and finished around 1:39:57.
These are the training runs I have been longing for in three years. I have been looking for guys that are willing to run for a longer time, and do it comfortably. I'm glad I can still look to my high school teammates as runners looking to strive to another level. I think these type of runs one day a week are going to be beneficial to me for the 50k, and other future races that I do. I can't wait to get back into the racing scene and start having fun running fast.