I ran with the training group yesterday. Those of us training for the full marathon ran a fourteen mile out and back course. Coaches Rick and John (both ultra marathoners) stayed with Erin, Chris, Maria, and I at the tail end of the group. It was the first time any of us, except Rick and John, had run this far. The weather was cold but calm and sunny. We kept a very easy pace at the start.
The time went by very quickly. We spent the time talking and joking as we ran through quiet residential neighborhoods. We were lucky enough to have an aid station set up at about five miles. United Blood Services let us set up a table in their entryway, and Rick's wife Kristy was there to hand out the Powerade and GU. We were able to stop and refuel here again after about nine miles because of the out and back route. It was great to get in somewhere warm for just a couple of minutes.
Erin had to cut her run short again due to very cold fingers. The rest of us were able to stay warm enough even as we turned into the wind. As we approached the last few miles Rick started to run ahead of us forcing us to pick up our pace a bit. I know that many people recommend pushing yourself at the end of a run to improve your ability to get through the tough spots. I have a very hard time doing this on my own. Those last two miles were difficult for all of us. It was great having Rick pull us along at the end.
It's exciting to know that I can run this far. The Earth Day Half Marathon is only six weeks away and yesterday's run gives me the confidence to know I can finish it.