Merry Christmas! It's Christmas Eve, and most of our group got their run in yesterday. Kelly and I had decided to keep to our Saturday routine, and we changed the location from the "schedule." We figured it wouldn't matter since I didn't really think anyone would be looking for us.
I got to the meeting location first, which was a school with no lights on. As I pulled in, there was a truck. It was so dark, I couldn't tell if there was a person in there or not. But why would someone be there? I parked and positioned my mirrors to where I could see if someone got out of the truck. But then I just got too bothered by it, so I moved my car. I was waiting for Kelly to arrive, and then I started thinking about how dark it was and how I wouldn't see anyone if they were coming up to the car. Then I thought of how Kelly and I would have to start our run, and no one really knows where we are. In the end, the freakish side of me won out, and I ended up texting her to meet me at the rec center. The well-lit, much less scarry parking lot of the rec center.
We had 8 miles ahead of us. Coach Ric had sent us a modified plan since our half marathon is two weeks after the Houston Marathon in which most of the group is running. The temperature was 50 degrees, and I had a long sleeve shirt, although I had forgotten my ear coverings and gloves. That's ok. I was ready to go. I had mentioned to Kelly that I was kind of dissappinted that I wasn't feeling very sore this morning since I thought I had a pretty good work out the night before. Maybe I should have stepped it up a notch.
We started off by going through that dark school parking lot which I hate. Its the one that reminds me of Monty Python where the knight is running and running and not getting any closer. Eventually we got to Magnolia which is where most of our long-distance running takes place, although on most runs we are coming from the other direction. There were no runners out. We usually see quite a few people on our runs, but this morning, we saw only two other people. Two! Which means we are freaks. Not that there's anything wrong with that. We are fine with being freaks. To add to the freakishness, Kelly mentioned that she wished she had running gloves instead of the blue gloves that she had on. They are very blue, and she worried that people would think she was crazy running with those. I was all, "Kelly! You are out at 6:30 in the morning. In the cold. On Christmas Eve. And you are running! I think people thinking you are crazy is going to come from many other sources! Your blue gloves will have little to do with people thinking that you have lost your mind!"
Right about this time, it started to rain. It was right at 6.5 miles. It wasn't raining hard; it was just drizzling and cold. Then it started running down my face, which would have been fine except that it started mixing with the sweat on my forehead and running into my eyes and burning! At mile 7.25 we changed directions and then rain was running staight into my face. I couldn't see. My hands, which were cold before, were now freezing and moving them was difficult and painful. To make matters worse, we were back on that dreadful Monty Python driveway. Luckily, the rain didn't get much harder; and once we passed that driveway, we were almost home free!
We did make it. 8.02 miles at a 15 minute/mile pace. We agreed that we had done a great job and that this early morning Christmas run was well worth it! We went into the rec center to refill our water bottles and stretch. When we were climbing the stairs, my legs were feeling so sore. I had to stop and strech my calves while going up. When we got to the mat, my frozen hands were still protesting any type of pressure, but I couldn't understand why everything else hurt so much more than normal. Then it hit me! I was sore from the workout the day before! There was the soreness I was missing earlier! Yea!
So...overall-Success! It was a good run, although I didn't feel quite as strong as last week's, it was good. I know there will be good runs and bad runs, but I'm hoping that the Galveston half day will be a good run. Regardless, when I think of how far I've come, I consider it a Christmas miracle. And I'm grateful. I'm grateful for my family and friends who cheer me on. I'm grateful that I have Kelly to run with. I'm grateful that I have two coaches who are vested in my accomplishments. And I'm grateful to God for giving me the strength and courage to continue and move forward.
I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a blessed holiday season!