Saturday, November 6, 2010

Twenty Miles

It's November and 78 degrees--I love it!
This morning, I woke up, knowing this, and so I dressed appropriately--t-shirt and shorts. There was no need to bring a jacket.
I arrive at the designated spot and do some mild stretching. I check my ipod and realize that no, it would not be accompanying me on the 20 mile run. Damn ipod was not functioning.
The group was tiny and I feared that I would be running solo from mile 6-12 without any inspiration. That would suck! I had arranged to have one of my running friends, the Barefoot Runner, meet me at the turnaround point, mile 16. I knew that the final 8 would be challenging for me, but at least, I would have someone to talk to.
I joined the pace group and headed towards Cherry Creek. I think there were fourteen people and had overheard most of them saying that they were going 12-14 miles. I was screwed.
We ran up the bike path and headed south to Wash Park on Downing. I am extremely familiar with this area since this is my typical run. I was feeling great, too. The pace was decent and I felt confident in finishing the dreaded solo portion of the run.
We ran through Wash Park and started talking about food. This girl, Severin, mentioned the French Laundry and I started envisioning amazing food. She wasn't dining there. Instead, she and her husband were hoping to get in at Frasca. The som and chef both worked at the French Laundry at one point. Ahhhhhh, food, and how distracting it is, for me.
Mile 6, aid station. I knew that this was the end of running with others. Out of nowhere, this guy goes--anyone going 20?
I about fell over. Ecstatic, overjoyed, extremely happy.
We took off and b.s.'d about childhood, New Orleans, Vegas Marathon. I liked him and sensed that we were similar in age due to his stories.
I told him that the Barefoot Runner was plannning on meeting me at the Mile 16 turnaround. Ironically, he knew him, too. A few weeks ago, they ran on one of the Saturday long runs. Small world, but still in the runner's world.
As we approached the mile 9 mark, I wanted to find a porta potty. Of course, there weren't any in sight. And, I had no money and we were not near any convenience stores. We were in a residential area with a few small parks, here and there. I noticed a woman, walking. She looked like a native to the area and so I asked her if she knew where a porta potty could be found. No---there are none anywhere around here....
Focused on finding a potty, I noticed another park, with a small stucture. It wasn't a mirage. It was a bathroom. Eureka!
It was locked. Of course.
I saw a blue structure and headed that direction. It was available and a heavenly break from the 20 mile dread. Apparently, the woman passed by Rich and said--oh, this must be new. I hadn't noticed it before. Funny.
One mile later, we made it to the turnaround. We passed by the blue heaven, stopped at an aid station and had to slow down, twice, so that I could have reserve energy for the final 3 miles. I wanted it to be over and so I kept speeding up.
At the 16 mile turnaround, we picked up a solo runner---Grady. It was funny. He was hitchhiking to join us.
I was very envious of his fresh legs as we trudged back though the DU campus, Wash Park, Cherry Creek Path and Cherry Creek. The last two miles sucked. I was ready to walk.
However, I knew we were 7 blocks from the end and so I started telling them about the weekend in Napa. I could do it. I did.
Rich and I finished in 3.5 hours. I feel fantastic and great about Vegas.
Afterwards, we entered Runner's Roost hoping that bagels and coffee would still be available. It wasn't and I don't blame them. Like I mentioned, most of the group were running 8-12 miles. We came in late.
Now, I am resting on my purple couch and trying to delay the time. Closing shift be damned!

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