Well the butt feels better! Yesterday was Team Run day, which to me is always motivating and fun. Seattle RNR was only doing 17 miles while San Diego RNR was doing 18. I was not sure what I would be doing since up until now I had only gone 13 miles due to my butt and I am still recovering. Well Coach Karl and Jen as well as Mentor Mike were all ready with a 14 miler for me. Thankfully there was another team mate that was also recovering, so I wasn't the only one doing the 14 miles.
Lisa is also running her first marathon, and hadn't run much prior to the past year. I did warn her I am slow. So for the first 2 miles we chatted. It is great to get to know new people through Team in Training. Then I was feeling a little slow, so she went ahead and I enjoyed some music and some "me" time. Our course took us through SE Portland, along Hawthorne. I don't do well with really strong smells and when it is super early in the morning I am even worse. So the smells of Mexican, Thai, burgers and other not so appealing smells at 8 am was making my stomach turn. Then I passed Grand Central Bakery. YUM! No one would notice if I just chilled there for a minute for some pastries, would they? There were a lot of interesting stores I passed, and not to mention the interesting people. Mile 4 brought the encouraging face of Mentor Mike at the aide station. With some encouraging words from him, some Shot Bloks and a refill on my handheld water bottle I was ready to go again. Lisa was there too, so we took off together. This would probably be the most challenging part of the run, but definitely the most beautiful.
Leg 2 took us into Mt. Tabor Park. There were some breathtaking views, and some breathtaking hills! Lisa was ahead of me, so I slowed a bit just to enjoy the view of Downtown Portland in that gorgeous sunlight that is being overshadowed by dark rain clouds. After running up the hill (which was really hard....but felt good!) the route turned around and back to Mentor Mike. I was able to pick up some time on the way down. Which, BTW has been a whole change in my stride since running with E. But it has been so much more effective and feels better.
When I left the aide station I noticed my handheld leaking. Nice, ice cold water running down my arm, all over me. It was cracked! UGH! So after carrying a dripping bottle for a mile I found a trash can, and left the bottle in it. Thank goodness Coach Karl and Jen were at another aide station not far away. So now I was on Belmont heading back Downtown. I passed Pine State Biscuits, where there was a line half a block long to get in. Saint Cupcake, apparently a Methadone Clinic, some more shops and some restaurants. This seemed to be the longest stretch for me. But soon, there they were....near the Esplanade, my coaches. It was like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And to get back to Duniway I had to run past a fire station. Oh darn!
Crossing the Hawthorne Bridge I was almost run over by a bicyclist. The Cinco de Mayo Festival was going on the Waterfront, and there were many Dragon Boat teams wandering around. As I was coming in on the last mile and a half, I had to go UP Harrison. Oh man, my thighs were burning, and I was so tempted to just stop running and walk it. Garmi had numbers though that said don't do it! So slow as I was going, I ran up the hill into the homestretch. Sure, the awesome runners that were doing 17 were also coming in, but hey....I still just completed the farthest I had ever run. It felt good.
On the way home though, I had to stop for some ice. Getting out of the Tahoe I was pretty much crawling into the mini mart. E. was already running a cold bath for me, so as soon as I got home I was making a Micki Slurpee. Looking forward to it, I put my feet in and INSTANTLY got out! WTH!!! It was freezing (yes, the thought of I didn't think it would be this cold actually went through my head). So after about 5 attempts I managed as close to 10 minutes as I could, and hopped right into a hot shower. I think E. was secretly enjoying watching the ice torture. And I am happy to report, all organs have returned to normal blood flow. But the muscles felt so much better.
Aside from retiring my water bottle. I was also forced to retire my first pair of "official" running shoes. My Saucony Triumph 6 had too many miles on them. The problem was that there is a new generation. But to my luck, I found my Triumph 6s online, for a great price and should have a new pair here within the week! My other pair, the Mizuno Wave Creation 10 is also retired, but I can't find those anywhere. So I will have to try the 11.
This next week I am going to really hit the training hard. Strength training and core strength will be my non-running concentration. I can't wait to run the Marathon, but I want to be the best I can be!