|Clover Beach. A+K+K =Anita, Kris and Ken. Ken is such a softy!|
I asked who wanted to run double digits last night when we all touched base.
Ken, Kris, Rachel and I decided we were not going to even attempt to run on trails. While mud slinging at one another on Monday was amusing, our run was a lot of work.
Today we opted for back roads closer to Kris and Ken in Linden.
Rachel hurt her back and played it safe at home and was not able to join this morning.
We met at Clover Beach in Fenton.
A mile into our run Kris asked Ken how far he wanted to go.
Ken responded "I dont't know, like 2 hours or whatever you guys like...."
I swallowed hard. I was thinking like 10, 11 miles...He was talking more like 13, 14 miles.
I tried not to show my concern. I didn't bring water, any chews and I forgot to eat breakfast.
To kick it up a notch, Kris picked one of her favorite "HILLY ROUTES"
Yep, I was doomed. Dead MEAT!
"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?" Psalm 121:1
HIlls were NO JOKE. I thought of Lacey. She keeps reminding me I have work hard.
Marathon training you RUN THE HILLS.
Ultra Training you WALK THE HILLS.
You know the hills you are running are beasts when they are named.
We named the massive incline on Whittaker Rd "The WIDOW MAKER" a couple years ago. There is a light at the top of the hill. I never take my eyes off it. The closer I get, the stronger I get. I find myself determined to get to the light. My hands are clutched in little fists as I stubbornly drive into the hill.
I had no idea where Kris was taking us. I knew we were in Linden, somewhere. Then the hills started attacking us one at a time. They never ended.
Ken for an old guy is solid. He has ran more Ultras than I have had birthdays. I was determined to stay on his heels. I would get behind him when he barreled down the downhills. I would focus on his bare legs and try to plant my feet every where he was. I never looked at my watch, and I never let him get too far ahead of me. It hurt, my quads were burning but I wasn't going to let him get the best of me.
The scenery for a dreary day was overloaded with potential. I found beauty in the potential, stopping to enjoy a creek cut in the middle of a field. Ken hushed me at one point. "Funny Ken, I haven't seen any deer in weeks..." He replied.."AHH,,GEE I wonder why..." teasing me about how loud I am. But it was not to far from that point, we came unto about 30 turkeys. SOO cool!
|Ore Creek Farm|
We stumbled on some incredible historic barns. Ken was giving us architecture lessons on some of the Centennial Farm homes.
Time was moving fast. We did a loop, somewhere, in Linden and we were heading back in. I realized where we were real fast when we were hitting the hills for the second time.
"Maintain Anita.." No matter what I was not going to stop. Lacey was in my head. "GET UP THE HILL, HEAD Up, Stay stong." I was screaming at myself.
It hurt, everything hurt. I was so thirsty, My gum was no longer minty, and my stomach was growling. I was praying, asking God to give me any pain but please don't let my sugar drop.
Kris is very consistent. She never shows pain. Ken, he was trying to bury me. He was hitting the pavement turning his feet over like a stinking Ethiopian.
He was warmed up and taking the lead.
I wondered how long he was going to hold his pace. I wondered how long I was going to be able to stay with him. Till I collapse.
Ken shared his Gatorade with me, this really perked me up.
By about 11 miles, Ken was slowing up but I was holding on. The ball was rolling.
"MAINTAIN Anita". I would swing back around and pick them up but I was keeping my momentum.
I honestly felt like crying. I was humbled by the strength God had given me to get through all this elevation. The hills kept coming. My back was still straight, My eyes were focused, My legs were sore but moving in perfect form. I was out of breath, everything in me was screaming, And so was total gratitude.
I recognized where we were at, only I was shocked when I saw the parking lot where our vehicles were parked.
WE were DONE! My distance was off by almost a mile. I paused my Garmin to look at something and forgot to restart it. This is a typical AIRHEAD Anita move.
13.7 we ran, then we walked a cool down around the Beach.
My pace had us at 9:33/mi because I turned my Garmin off at the cool down. The above time and distance if from Kris's Garmin.
Such a great run. The three of us are all running Hennepin in October. Todays run exemplified what great dynamics the 3 of us have. I am so excited.
SPEAKING of HENNEPIN..BIG NEWS...
Lacey announced to me last week she is going on vacation with her husband that week. They are going to Chicago. And on her way there she is going to take a little pit stop to PACE ME!!!!
YES! She shocked me, surprised me, and BLESSED me.
Could this get ANY BETTER? 100 miles with my TRIBE!