Just getting from the bed to the alarm clock this morning was painful, was I really going to get 18 miles in today? I was nervous, we had run a lot this weekend and the weather report was not looking good at all. When we left the house there was no snow, could it be we dodged the bullet. Nope, the closer we got to Quonset the heavier the snow was.
We were heading there for a 10 mile race, but had a goal of getting in 16-18 miles. We should have gotten in the long run earlier this weekend, but we didn’t. There was debate about when to run. Should we get it all done before the race? Do a little before and a little after? Wait and get it all done after the race. I lost the debate and we were going to get in as much as possible before hand.
We headed out on a 2 mile loop, the weather was worse than expected. The snow and sleet were heavy, that combined with the wind, it was awful. The first loop was really painful, my legs were not happy to be working again. The second loop was a little better. Just as I thought I could convince Joe to call it a morning, a guy from our running club met up with us. Joe had someone new to chat with, meaning I was stuck for at least another 2 miles. It was nice though, the new addition made us push the pace a little and the change in conversation was a nice distraction. I have been whining about running 55 miles this week, the guy were running with had pulled 70+ a few weeks ago. UNBELIEVABLE! I’ll stop complaining.
Before I knew it we were at the start line. I knew we would be slow so I moved towards the back of the pack. It was a small pack, we might come in dead last. This has never happened before. It was a little nerve wracking. A few miles into it, I was as sore as I expected. The weather forced me to run with my eyes close to closed, only a slit to peer through. The pain from the weather on my face forced me to forget about my legs for a while. Surprisingly I pulled ahead of a few people, maybe I wouldn’t be last.
Things were good until about mile 7.5. My body was done. My legs were throbbing from ankle to hip. As slow as I was moving I refused to walk. The people I passed earlier, soon passed me. I looked behind me there was one person back there. My new hero, he would prevent me from taking the title as last one to cross the finish line.
Finally we were on the home stretch, less than a half mile. Joe was cute. We started a tradition last year of holding hands as we crossed the finish line. Normally we are crossing with a crowd of people watching and are feeling stronger than we were today. I didn’t even think about it, until his had found mine. He had thought about it. It didn’t matter that when we crossed they were breaking it down, or that we were close to dead last or that we were dead tired. We were finishing together, and what a week we had just ended, holding hands.