There’s a lot to be said for having a running partner. Especially when said partner is your partner in life, as well. Now, I DO NOT recommend this for new runners, or for the newly married. But, if you don’t get your feelings hurt easily, latching on to the competitive spirit of a man might be just the ticket. At least, it worked for me this time.
If you follow my blog, you know I’ve had a miserable training year. The weeks leading up to this race would likely have been lost to me had my man not developed a training plan for us to follow that would get me across the finish line. He committed to train with me, and his (mostly) gentle encouragement got me through. We had an awful long run on Monday, and I’ll admit I had my doubts. We felt pretty good this morning, though, so we decided we would try to run the pace that would get the PR I want, and see how we did. Unfortunately, he hurt his leg yesterday playing with his girls on a zip line – you know the leg, the one with the expensive hardware in it that he broke a little over a year ago. Not much stops that man on a mission, though, so we lined up in the cold this morning with the rest of the nuts and headed out.
I have an awful habit of starting too fast. You know, fresh legs, cold start, fast runners, race nerves. Then, I crash and burn too soon into the race. Gary kept reeling me in, reminding me to slow down, and kept us right on pace. We were running behind a couple of women who had on really cute skirts that I was admiring (come on, you know you check out what everyone else has on, too) when I noticed the back of their shirts. I typically devise some type of running mantra for long races to help me through the tough spots, but I really hadn’t thought much about it this time. Then, I read these shirts.
(And, aren’t their skirts cute?)
Every time my mind started trying to tell my legs they hurt, I repeated the mantra, substituting “I” for “they”. I felt really strong through mile 10, then I got some Gatorade, forgetting that it’s kind of a no-no for me. Don’t know what it is about it, but it nauseates me a little when I drink it at races. Grabbed some water at mile 11 to try to cleanse my palate, but the damage was done. The wheels fell off at mile 11, and the power of my man and the mantra faded a little. We slowed the pace, walking a little. Gary even grabbed my hand at one point, trying to transfer his power and energy (and maybe dragging me a little), but it was a tough, ugly mile. I dug really, really deep, reminded myself that I would run and not grow weary, and gave it all I had for the last mile. Our girls met us at mile 13 and breathed new life into my legs and tummy. We finished strong, actually with a slight PR for me, not the one I was after, but one I can live with after this crazy year.
Not too shabby for an old broad and an old guy with a limp.