Respect the Run: 10:16:40:44 till 13.1 with my Sweet Thang

Hello Lovies!    I’ve got my next Half Marathon 13.1 in 10 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 44 seconds and counting down.  The Indianapolis Women’s Half Marathon over Labor Day weekend.  It will be my 4th in 2 years.  I’ve been training  pretty hard with my Sweet Thang running buddy.  I know her from our kid activity circles and she was also in the 500 Festival Mini Marathon training series I completed in the spring.  We hadn’t run together much because  in spite of her short little legs she is faster than me at her normal pace.   I’d start out with her for as long as I could keep up, which often wasn’t long. I’ve written some about my struggles with the last 13.1 I ran.  After the Mini was over I had to rest my foot, I got active at lazing, then I got cleared to run and knew I had to get off my butt or I’d never be trained in time for the Women’s.    I knew I run and I was just about to cinch up my big girl panties and get it done alone. But then some crazy stuff started happening in our town with weirdos trying to steal our kids and there were several reported murders of women who were running alone across the country. I didn’t feel safe running alone anymore and I put a call out for a running buddy.  She said she would meet me to run one night back in  June and somehow we just never stopped.

At first I worried I’d be too slow for her.  It only took a few times to work through that she was happy to have the motivation and the company and the pace wasn’t going to be an issue.  As the miles climbed I asked her if she was going to sign up for the race. She already has a half booked in November and didn’t know if she wanted to take on one more.  As we climbed in consistency and miles per my training plan she pulled out her big girl panties and her credit card and ponied up and entry fee and now I don’t have to run the race alone!

Training  for this race in particular has been like no other.  I’ve just come off one of the most stressful summers of my adult life, dealing with  adventures in ADHD for myself and the kids, YMCA camp nightmares and a very crazy work environment/schedule.    Over the months we have taken turns bitching, venting and rambling ( ok it is just me that rambles) and now we can pass 6 miles with no music and only conversation.  It’s a darn good thing I had a crapton of  long rambling stories I could tell her as we slogged through  record heat, humidity, and finally one  blessed rain run last night.  I feel better than I ever have before a Half Marathon.   Injuries have been limited, nutrition has been great, I’ve managed to do some cross training and I have her to push me every single day to run better, faster, longer.  I’ve gotten better  and stronger in my run, not just because I’ve made some significant lifestyle changes in the last few months but also because I don’t like to let her down.  I figure if she is willing to sacrifice pace for me I’d better be willing to push it and work hard for her.  She has joined that rare group of women who get to yell at me and tell me what to do.

For instance one day last week we were doing 8 miles.  I have gotten into the habit of running with less and less technology.  I’ve taken off the heart rate monitor because I thought it was causing me to limit myself in pace without using my body as a guide.  I’ve taken off the earphones and run with the music on speaker so we could both hear it and still talk, only turning it up when I needed extra motivation.  And a few times I’ve decided to ditch the phone/runkeeper app altogether because I didn’t want an every mile reminder of  how far we’d gone and how slow.  I just wanted to enjoy the run and the company and let my body do the rest.  So I found myself on that 8 miles with no technology whatsoever.   It was her turn to pick the route so I just showed up with my self and my belt of various Gu’s.  She didn’t really want to run that night, but had forced herself to do it partly out of obligation and partly out of some trash talking from me. So we set off on a new route and began talking.  I had no desire to walk at all.  This was all well and good until I  asked how far we’d gone expecting her to say 6, and she said 5!  Ugh, my back was tight and I was getting a little sluggish.  I had to walk a bit in mile 6-7, but not much and not for very long.  I won’t just stop and walk with Sweet Thang like I will with Babu, I hold out as long as possible and then tell her I’m thinking about walking.  We set a point to run to, then to walk to and stick to the plan. It allows for the walk without doing it so long you end up walking the whole thing.  We got to 7.0 and she pushed me to run. She pushes me in those last miles because she is naturally faster and has more energy at the end.   Let’s run the last mile she tells me, you can do it for another 12 minutes no sweat, and we will be done by the light and we can walk up the hill. I HATE that hill, it is tolerable on mile 2,3, 4 but the more we run our loop the harder it gets and trust me it isn’t even THAT big.   I buckled on the BGP and committed to the run, telling myself it would be worth it to walk up the hill. So we push it for the next 12 or so minutes and what happens when we get to the dang light? Well first of all we miss it, as in start to sprint for it and have to STOP miss it.  She looks at the runkeeper and we are only at 7.75. I cannot even tell you how ticked off this makes me.   The light changes and she starts running, she is ahead of me and I’m huffing up the hill about to die yelling, “you told me I wouldn’t HAVE to run up this hill!”  So she turns around as says, “Well you can quit right now if you want, but what’s it gonna be?  Are you going to go ahead and stop or make yourself do it? It’s up to you”. THAT BITCH! She knew I’m so stubborn and obstinate  I’d make myself run up that damn hill just so I could prove her wrong.  She also knew I wanted to run up that hill and how much better I’d feel if I did.  So I did just that, I ran up that damn hill. She stopped about 10-20 yards ahead of me and I knew it meant  she was at the 8.0 mark, so I dug a little deeper and ran it in to the high five, feeling fantastic I’d made the hill my bitch ( hardly lol).    I  served as her motivation to start, and she served as my motivation to finish!    She asked me later in the week as she was teasing to tell on me for  wanting to cast my BGP aside what I would of done if she wasn’t there. I flat out told her I’d of stopped after missing that light mid sprint and called it good at 7.75. I’m a good enough girl like that  a lot!

I’m glad we got the 8.01 though, and you know what else, I haven’t walked  once in the two 6’s we have put in since!  I don’t know how long it will take us to finish the 13.1 together, or if I’ll end up walking the last 3 like I have in every other 13.1 I’ve done but I do know this…..I’ll probably have the best 13.1 of my life and if I do I will have Sweet Thang to thank for a solid half of that effort, the last half!

I guess we will find out in 10 days, 15 hours, 47 minutes and 00 seconds…and counting!



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