“Risin’ up, straight to the top
Have the guts, got the glory
Went the distance, now I’m not gonna stop
Just a man and his will to survive.” ~Survivor
Monday night after work I met Christy for our 17 mile long run. After that wonderful 15 miler the week before, I had a terrible 5 mile run and then a painful 8 mile run. I took 4 days completely off to let my legs rest so that hopefully the pain that would shoot up my leg with each step would subside. When Monday came around I was nervous. I packed up my running stuff and made sure to add the Aquafor (after learning that painful lesson on the 15 miler), the IcyHot and Cliff Shot Bloks and headed to work. All day, all I could think about was the run.
5 o’clock came along with butterflies in my stomach and I went to go meet Christy for what I was sure was going to be a death march. I slathered IcyHot on my shins and knees hoping to sufficiently numb them, got suited up, and left at about 5:45.
On close to a three hour run, we talk about a lot of stuff. It’s funny how much ground you cover in your head too on a run. I love our run conversations and how the longer the run gets, the more laughing we do. For me, I think it’s so I don’t cry. haha. Then I think it’s that we are going certifiably insane so laughing is just a side effect. I mean really, 17 miles?! We need a new hobby, something stationary like TV watching. But truth be told, the run actually felt great. About an hour in, we were feeling strong. We grabbed some water, took some shot bloks and then as the sun started to set, settled into our second hour.
Before this run that Christy mapped out, she kept talking about this hill. I didn’t think much of it honestly because I was naive and didn’t know that area of town all that well and she wasn’t trying to kill me right? So it couldn’t be that bad. I mean, I’ve run hills before. First off all, this was not a hill…it was a mountain and second, after that mountain climb, I am a little skeptical that Christy may in fact be trying to kill me.
Right around mile 12, we had a 2.5 mile incline from a 4% grade to a 7% grade at mile 13.6. Holy cow. From now on, Lynnwood Way (which both Christy and I think is way too nice of a name for a mountain so terrible) will be called Dante’s Peak. The good thing about all of this though is that we did it! We survived. We pushed each other up the mountain knowing that if we could do this…it would literally be all downhill from there. If we could run this, we could run any little hill the marathon could throw our way. I mean for goodness sakes, all the cell towers were on this “hill.” You know you’re high up when that happens.
To keep our mind occupied, we came up with a Top Ten List:
You Know You’re a Long Distance Runner If…
1. You run out of the city limits
2. You owe your life to a headlamp
3. You feel like you are in a Runner’s World Rave Run photo/calendar as you run the quiet miles over Tennessee’s rolling hills as dusk falls
4. While you’re out running, most people have driven back from work, helped their children with their homework, had dinner, watched their favorite TV episode and gone to bed
5. You like the smell of IcyHot
6. 13 miles is now a short run
7. Wearing tights in public is now acceptable
8. You have to write down your directions on a sticky note because you are going places you’ve never been
9. You’ve seen your life flash in front of your eyes as a car threatens to sideswipe you
10. You are constantly hungry because your body burns more calories than your body can keep up with
What would you add?
We finally made it back, a little worse for the wear but all in one piece. While we were cooling down, Christy looked at her Garmin and then at me and said, “You’re going to kill me. We ended up doing 18.33 miles” I didn’t have the energy to kill her 😉 Again, we just laughed. It felt good. Sure our feet, shins, hips and backs felt like we had just pounded 18 miles into them but other than that we still felt good. We did it, we survived. We had great conversation, amazing scenery and a killer hill to keep us occupied. As I drove home ready for a big bowl of pasta, a warm shower and a soft bed I swear I heard Eye of the Tiger in the background.
I would also like to say a special thanks to Walmart for the head lamp Christy bought there. Without that, I would not be writing this post. Legs are still a little tired but not as sore after the yoga I did yesterday. Can’t wait to run with the Nasties tonight and have some green beer after. Happy St. Patty’s Day!