Finally, a decent long run

Long runs don’t come easy to me and don’t get me wrong, easy is all relative, what I mean by easy is I wasn’t dying when we finished our 16 mile run yesterday.  Long runs are long and hard, but at least for the most part yesterday’s run was good.

The weather was outstanding for August in Arkansas, about 10 degrees cooler than normal and much lower humidity which made for about a 65 degree start at 5:30am.  I picked Tambo up at 5:15 and we headed to our brand new meet spot off Cantrell, the old Harvest Foods store parking lot.  Tammy had requested and received a 16 mile route from our leaders Tom and Hobbit, pretty sure it was Hobbit who laid out the route.  Two thumbs up!

Kim was already in the parking lot when we arrived, we expected to see more people starting early, but there was no one else and we were a little unsure of which way to go to get on Riverfront Drive, we figured it out in short notice and were off.  Thank goodness it was dark, we had a long trek down to the Big Dam Bridge through Murray Park, we all hate the Murray Park area, it’s just so long and BORING, but in the dark it’s different, still long, but since your are paying more attention to the road than your surroundings I think it goes by quicker.

I of course made a customary bathroom stop around mile 3, just guessing, I really have no idea how far we were into that damned stretch of road, but we could see the Bridge and the road is about 4 miles long.  When we started out Kim and I both commented that we had goose bumps, there was a breeze and it was blowing toward us, but it didn’t take long for us to warm up.

The miles ticked off pretty quickly and once we got across the Bridge and onto the trail in North Little Rock no one was talking and it was so quiet and peaceful, so serene, I can’t describe it.  Once we got onto the main River Trail we started seeing a lot more runners and bikers, the sun was up and the weather was uncommonly perfect.  We trudged along.

Part of our route took us through the soccer fields and once again, quiet, I can’t tell you how nice it was to just be out there in the woods with my friends running and appreciating life.  I kept thinking about Vicki, one of the ladies we have run with, laughed with, who was at the finish line when I finished my first marathon; while we were out there running, she was burying her husband who had died of a massive heart attack and I just kept thinking how short life is, how it can be taken in an instant.  I hope her strength gets her through this horrible time in her life.

Okay, still on the River Trail, we came back out close to the Golf Course and more people, lots of bikers today.  Up the hill and into the Skate Park, it was Kim’s turn for a bathroom break and we took the opportunity to fuel, soon we were on River Road, which is actually a real road so a little traffic, not much since it was still a little early.  We got some whoops and hollers from a group of cyclists, which was odd, that has never happened!   We had a good laugh about that, then we were back on the River Trail close the to RR Bridge where we encountered a mass of bikers, we had to run single file for a long time, I think until we got to Riverfront Park which was a little over mile 13.

Now I had to pee and knew this was my last chance since we would be taking the Main Street Bridge into Little Rock and it would be the local streets for the next 3 miles.  Quick potty break and I was ready to get this run completed.  I did forget to mention my back, it started hurting around mile 6, Tammy had given me a Salonpas patch and we had another good laugh when Kim tried to put it on my back and she said “I don’t think its going to stick” luckily Tammy was watching and noticed she was trying to put the paper backing on me instead of the patch.  I am glad we can laugh at ourselves.  It was pretty funny.  I don’t think the patch helped at all, but I was hopeful, it seems as though if I keep running it doesn’t hurt as much, it’s the walking that kills me.  So, I made an appointment for Monday, hopeful the Doc can give me some sort of diagnosis and treatment.

Once we got on the streets in Downtown I didn’t want to stop, I had a mission and that mission was to get it finished.  I remember saying “2 more miles” and thinking “thank God” I was still having a good run, but I was getting tired, or shall I say, I was tired.  My knees were hurting some and the back of my left knee hurt for some odd reason, not to mention my stupid back.

We took a quick walk break around mile 14.5 and were off again, no grass was growing under our feet.  Once we got over to Cantrell we saw a guy in front of us, odd, we really had not seen many runners in this area, we came up on him and he started talking to us, he too was with the Little Rock Marathon Training group and was also doing 16 miles, we didn’t mention we had started early 🙂 He was training for New York and we mentioned our Tupelo Full for Kim and Tammy and I both sent in our registration for the Half which is in a couple of weeks!  It’s weird once we caught up to that guy he seemed to speed up, because we were on the move and were going to pass him.

One more mile to go!  The taste of victory, it’s like finishing a race, almost finished, on Titus Trail and I can see the Harvest Foods store in the distance, YAY!!!!  We come out on Riverfront Drive and Kim is shocked we are finished, but we are!  Tammy didn’t have the best run, but she had a great run last weekend, it just seems as though we can’t get in sync, but I haven’t had a GOOD run in a long, long time it seems, but yesterday, it was GOOD.

When we finished running, we stretched, I passed out our ice cold Diet Mt. Dews, and we discussed plans, my friend Sheryl was in NLR and wanted to meet for coffee so I had to drop Tammy off at her house, she jumped in her car and we all met up at Starbuck’s, it was just grand!  Hot coffee, goose bumps and some of my best friends.  I really enjoyed relaxing and talking, sometimes we get our coffee and go, but just sitting around and talking is much better.

I felt good the rest of the day, but ravenous, seemed like I was eating all day!  Even this morning, still hungry!  I did some of my errands yesterday, but have lots to do today too.  This temporary job is getting in the way of my life!

Oh, another little side note, we finished our run in 2:49:23, 16.02 miles with an average pace of 10:35, the only time I turned off my Garmin was for bathroom breaks.  Hell, that’s faster than some of our 5 mile runs!  But, that route yesterday was mostly flat and the temperature made a huge difference.


One Response

  1. I just stumbled upon your blog. Thanks for the motivation!
    I’m trying to get my groove back ,on the whole running. I’ve been running for years, but at the end of April I just wanted a break. The break has last for about 3 1/2 months. I’m trying to get back into running, but I’m so out of running shape. I hope to regain everything I’ve lost. My goal is to run White Rock in Dec. We’ll see.

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