I'm not going to lie: This was a tough one. Tough.
Also, it was pretty flippin' awesome.
On Sunday, I ran 22 miles, all of them with Melissa, 19 of them also with Tami. We had an amazing run. Despite the humidity and the already warm temperature at 7:00 am, the first few miles flew by and it seemed like we hit the 5-mile mark in no time at all. Right around 5.7 miles into the run we passed a parking lot on the bike path where we were running and heard someone yell, "Felice!!!!" It was our friend, Amanda, who was just getting started on a run with another friend, Suzy. So, we took the opportunity for a quick bathroom break, said hi to Amanda and Suzy and headed back out to cover some more miles.
We turned around at 9 miles and that's when things turned a little sour for me. I had been feeling great the whole run but at that turn-around I started to get a cramp. At first, I thought it was just a little nothing-ish side stitch that would be gone in a half mile.
I was wrong.
That cramp kept me company for 11 miles. That's right: 11 miles.
I don't know why I got a cramp so I don't exactly know what I could do differently to avoid it next time. All I know is that it pretty much sucked to run with it. I tried all the tricks but they didn't work until, suddenly and for no apparent reason, it went away 20.1 miles into the run.
The good thing about the cramp? I proved to myself that I can run through it. If you remember, I ran a half-marathon on January 1st with a cramp from mile 4 to 11 and I could not run through it. I guess I needed this run to show me how far I've come since the beginning of the year.
But that shouldn't be the focus of this post. The focus of this post is that Melissa, Tami and I ran strong. We chatted away on this run and the miles felt good. At mile 19, Tami left us and Melissa and I felt her absence over the final three miles. Tami is a great chatter and once she left us, I told Melissa I didn't have much chat left in me and she agreed that she didn't, either.
So we covered the remaining miles mostly in silence, although we both made the occasional exaggerated sigh. Those miles were hard and it took all I had to keep the pace and stay focused. In my head, I repeated pretty much every mantra I've ever used -- with an emphasis on, "Don't quit now."
We didn't quit. Far from it: Our last three miles were run in 9:26, 9:34 and 9:14. And overall? I think we ran well:
Longest run. Over and out.
Bring on the New Jersey Marathon. I'm ready!
Have a great week, everyone. And, Boston marathoners -- be careful out there and have a great race! I hope the weather forecast is wrong.
Thanks for stopping by!