Today I had a great 18-mile run. Okay, that's a lie. I felt like I was gonna die around mile 14. What was great, however, was that I was running with friends—Dena, Josh, Royce, Jack, Marshall, and Neal who all motivate me to keep on going in lots of different ways.
I ended up running most of the 18-miler with Dena and Josh. Dena's in our group of runners that's using the FIRST marathon training method. We run our weekly interval and tempo runs together and often the long run. Dena's a wonderful writer and has helped me tremendously with my writing, the blog, and exploring different writing avenues. I met Josh for the first time today. He's a friend of Dena's and a really cool guy.
It wasn't Dena's and Josh's verbal motivation that spurred me on. Instead, it was motivation by example. I'm supposed to be the "faster runner," but today I was feeling fatigued from the get-go. I'm already behind on my marathon training, so I hauled myself out of bed and got myself going.
I started out fine, and felt pretty good until we stopped around mile 10 for water. I kept telling myself that when we got to the next turn-off (which was a 2-mile out/back stretch) that I'd just keep going straight along the greenway back to the start and cut off those 2 miles. But Dena and Josh were running so strong, so I kept going. Dena was really bookin-it today and Josh, well Josh was running the 18-mile route barefoot! He did slip-on a pair of Vibram Five Finger shoes once or twice at some gravel and trail sections, but other that it was barefoot all the way!
I kept telling myself that if Dena can be running so strong and be 5 to 10 minutes faster than pace and Josh can run barefoot, then I can complete the 18 miles. And so, I did. Actually we ran 18.14 miles!
Afterwards, we headed for bagels and coffee. I ended up meeting several readers of the blog while enjoying my egg-and-cheese bagel. It was great hearing them talk about the blog. I greatly appreciate their support!
Right now I'm whaled up on my bed, watching the IAAF World Track event in Berlin on TV while wearing my CEP compression socks. My kids are laughing at me, but I really don't care. I got in my long run, accomplished my goal, spent time with friends, and met some new friends. All is good.