I’ve held off writing much about running the past few weeks. Okay, so I’ve held off writing about much of anything the past few weeks (up until this weekend anyway). Well, that was mainly because I wanted to wait until after this morning to write about what we have accomplished so far.
Yesterday morning, on a sunny and cool day, Angela and I ran together for 20 miles. We finished in 4 hours and 45 minutes, which won’t exactly break any records. However, the point is that we finished and we did it together. It is really hard to write just how proud of her I am. Just a few years ago, not being a runner as a kid or in college, she ran her first 5k. Just this past Spring, she ran her the Monument Avenue 10k, another personal record for distance. Now, she has reached what is considered by most to be the longest training used in distance running. That is no small feat and it requires real dedication to achieve. Further, while it may seem counter-intuitive, running slower on those long runs means being out there for just that much longer. Nearly five hours of strenuous physical activity is tough on anyone, and she finished with her usual big smile, as if we’d just been walking around the block.
Because of the way our training was set up, Angela was on the novice team which would have one 20 mile run. My team, which was for somewhat more advanced runners (which I do not claim to be; it was decided for me), ran three 20 mile days, the last coinciding with the novice group. I ran the first one at a relatively slow pace, as it was a first for me. The second, I really wanted to see what I was capable of doing, so I ran faster. I had thought all along that running this last one with Angela might be fun, especially to keep her company. One of the coaches agreed that using the middle 20-miler as the more strenuous test run would be a good idea, so I went with that plan. I have to say, that although the company I had on the first two was great, the one yesterday with Angela was so much fun.
Way to go, Angela. You proved to the running group and everyone we know that you can do it. What’s more, you finished with a smile and then took me to lunch. Who could ask for a better partner to run with and hang out with for the rest of our lives? You’re awesome.