I was pretty worried about the 20 miler since my 18 miler was painful and the forecast for San Luis Obispo was for 90 degree weather. I thought it was likely we were going to be pulled off the course early and if we weren't I'd experience the same pain as I did on the 18 miler and have to endure it for two additional miles.
Well I ran pretty comfortable the whole time. My new shoes seemed to do the trick and my muscle didn't fatigue like they did on the 18 miler. I'm still having issues with "chub rub" I reapplied lube twice and still ended up with the worse case yet! However, it didn't hurt too bad during the run. It's afterwards that the pain sets in, which is actually fortunate.
And I have the best running partner ever! Cindy can run a lot faster than me. But she always runs with me anyway and she not only fun to chat with on the runs but she has a solid 'partner' mentality. It's like we're 'team running'. I hope to blog more details about that in a separate post.
I had a special treat mid-run. Kris took Heather on a hike up Madonna Mountain while I was running. When they were done he went to look for me on the course. This was a feat because he had no map and had no idea where they were going to run us except they were going to run us to Avila Beach and back. So by some clever deduction, he found a string of TNT runners and since he knows my pace and where I started, he was able to make a good guess I was on the Bob Jones trail at the time. And I was!
Cindy and I were on our way back from the turn around point heading back on the trail and I see way ahead this guy who sort of looks like Kris. I see he has a dog with him that looks like Heather. No way. What are the chances he knew where I'd be???
But sure enough as we move toward each other on the trail I realized it was them!! I called to Heather and she perked up her ears and ran straight for me. I was yelling my usual, "How's Mama's girl? How's my baby girl!?" I was so excited I was yelling loud and the trail was very busy at this time. Everyone was looking and it was so cute as Heather ran straight into my arms to get hugs and kisses from Mom.
Another TNT athlete that was headed in the opposite direction smiled as said as she passed, "You are a lucky girl!" I said, "I know!!" I think she saw that Kris was there and she was referring more to me having a supportive husband than just a great dog. But, whatever, she was right!
Then a little later, I saw the Tailwinds Bike Club from Santa Maria come down the trail. Kris and I biked much of the running route with the bike club several times in the past. So I knew there was a good chance of seeing them and I had been watching for them all day. So I had fun cheering "Go Tailwinds!!!" as they zoomed past us!
Cindy and I said goodbye to Kris and Heather once we reached the end of the Bob Jones trail. Then we headed up Ontario Rd and to the SAG wagon at mile 14.
As I feared, the temperature soared and by mile 16 we were feeing it. We didn't know what the temperature was but I decided I needed to walk it in the rest of the way. I knew I could finish the distance. I wasn't even disappointed about walking the last 4 miles. In that kind of heat it was a great feat to simply finish.
We were 3 miles away from the end. Coach April pulled up in her truck and our manager Barb jumped out. She said, "It jumped from 95 to 104 in the last 20 minutes. We're pulling all the runners off the course."
I was with my running buddy Cindy and two other ladies. We all exclaimed in unison, "But we're only 3 miles out! We're doing good."
So the manager and coach did a quick assessment of all of us and gave 3 of us clearance to finish. The forth gal was gently convinced to get on the truck and call it a day.
I was THRILLED!!!!!!!!!! THEY LET ME FINISH!!!!!!!!! I did a HOT 20 miles!!! I am READY!!!!!
Kris was waiting for me back at the park. My phone died around mile 15. So the last he heard from me was that we were really hot and would be slower coming in than expected. But I worried that he would see the team trucks pulling in with all these runners getting out and wonder where the heck I was.
When we arrived at the park, he did have a concerned look on his face until I threw up my arms, gave him a big smile and yelled "We did it!" Then he knew I was fine. He said I looked really good! I felt pretty good! And my time was only 17 minutes slower than I predicted. Not bad in 104 degrees.
This run has really helped me mentally. I really feel that I can go the distance in the marathon. It shouldn't be that hot. I stayed pretty comfortable. So if I stick to the final weeks of training, I should do just fine!
Thanks for all of you who were praying for me today and sending me positive energy! It worked!!