Saturday was an amazing day to say the least. Our running team, The iCan Running Group, met at 7:00 a.m. to head out on a three hour, fifteen minute run. It was going to be the longest run so far in terms of time, and my hope was that it would be the longest in terms of distance as well. If it was not longer, I was concerned that the people we are mentoring would see this as a setback. I try to remind them, and everyone for that matter, that we have good runs, and not so good runs. Diet, nutrition, attitude, stressors, all play a part in whether or not a run is as successful as you want it to be. And sometimes, the body just needs a rest and you don’t perform to your expectations. But even with that knowledge, it’s hard not to become frustrated when you run a longer time and get less or the same miles in.
We met up at Coach Loran’s gym, and started off with a hilly six-mile route which actually looped back to the gym. We stopped to top off our water bottles, and then my dear friend Kara, and my buddy Doug (who I am mentoring) took off for the bike trails to complete our timed run.
It was a wonderful morning, cool and slightly overcast, and the trail was somewhat clear. As we progressed, the bicyclists and fellow runners started coming out. We laughed and joked along the way, with one self-appointed “trail police” bicyclist catching most of the jabs. And our picking on Doug was almost endless. The poor guy brought along Honey Stinger Waffles to fuel up with. I use them as well, but usually carry the Honey Stinger Chews. But I let it be known that when we talked to the group, I was going to say how everything was going well until Doug had to stop for waffles!
We were coming up on the end of our run, and while waiting at a light, I asked Kara and Doug what their longest distances were. Kara was at 17 miles and Doug was at 16.75. We were almost to both! As Doug crossed the 17 mile threshold, my Garmin beeped and I gave him a big high five. For a guy who has had breathing issues, dizzy spells, and IT issues, he keeps plugging away and gaining ground. While others would quit, I think it makes him all the more determined to do it.
Kara is an amazing soul! To tell me she was struggling during the first part was a shock to me, as she makes it look so very easy. If I didn’t know her and didn’t run myself, and saw her running by, I would think to myself, “Oh I could do that”. That’s how easy she makes it appear. But I know how hard it is, and I know that I don’t give off the appearance of making it look easy. She is steady, focused, and glides along as if she could go on forever. I really admire that.
We were back at the gym’s parking lot a little early, but I figured with two distance records set, we could break a little early. We finished the training run in 3:06:58 with a total of 18.3 miles and an average pace of 10:12 min/mile. What an awesome job out of both Kara and Doug! I am so proud of them.
I am also quite blessed. Throughout this transformation I’ve been going through, I have come to see and be a part of many amazing things. From 5k’s, 10k’s, half and full marathons, bike rides, triathlons, and other events, it has been quite a journey. Now added to the mix is mentoring and assisting others as they start their journeys, or continue to expand their journey. To say I am blessed to be a part of it is an understatement, but I’m at a loss of words to describe the joy I feel.
On this amazing Saturday, I woke up, had some breakfast, and thought “I’m going to help someone run for three hours.” How awesome is that? To be able to not only do that yourself, but to partake in the joy of helping someone else be able to do that too? Truly a blessing. Thank you one and all for allowing me to enjoy the blessing of being with you on your journeys.
Live healthy, be happy!