This past weekend was our group’s 20 mile run. With several of us less than 2 months from Big Sur and one of us fortunate enough to get in to Tokyo, it was going to be a great gauge for our training to date.
With a 6:30 am start time, I pulled up and only saw two other runners. With our lovely coach side-lined due to illness and our #2 also at home nursing some aches, it was going to be a challenging run without thinking of the 20 miles ahead of us. But the sun was shining at the corner of Noe and Market in San Francisco, and within moments, a pair of runners came around the corner followed by another down the hill. We were now a strong group of 6 ready to conquer the pavement.
The run started off well and a casual split with our varying paces set the tone for the day. It’s always nice to know that if you are feeling “speedy” or “steady,” you can run at your desired pace. I stayed in the middle with a couple other runners (Dare I say the Three Musketeers? I dare not.) We were later joined by another runner turning us into a pack of 4. Close to mile 8, our coach was nice enough to brave the morning cold and provide some water, snacks, and much appreciated moral support. She would also be there at mile 13 on the switch-back and I’ll have to say, she had probably the best bananas known to man. It’s funny how something can taste so darn delicious after 13 miles.
I don’t know if it was the super strong banana power, but around mile 14, I felt an energy boost and drifted slightly ahead of our group of 3. (our fourth musketeer felt the energy of Tokyo earlier and sped off which is fabulous considering he is 2 weeks away from glory, Tokyo style) My energy boost would last for a couple miles and I made sure to slow my pace so that we could finish the last 3-4 miles in close proximity; we would require mutual support for the last leg.
The 20 miles felt great and the company afterwards topped it off. It was nice to catch up with another 3 runners that ran 10 miles that morning and decided to start and end near us so that our paths might cross. The nice surprises that come at the end of a long run, aren’t always
fitness related. Run Strong my friends.