I got to the store early and had planned on meeting up with Jon before the group run. His vehicle wasn't in the parking lot which meant he was running from home. I forgot to check my email and didn't know which route he was taking. I set off running the direction I thought he might be coming from but still didn't see him by the time I hit the turn around point. When I got back to the store I saw Jon was already there. He had taken a different route. Oh well, next week we can get our miles in together.
We left the store and soon Jon had to turn around because he just couldn't warm up. Erin, Heather, and I went 5 miles at a pace that was pretty fast for me. They finished very strong, and I struggled to keep up. My legs were definitely tired after this run.
Saturday morning our group ran from the store. Lamont was nice enough to open it up for us. The group was scheduled to run 12 miles, but Jon, Heather, and I wanted to go 18 miles. The three of us got to the store very early and took off for the first 6 miles of the day. Jon's legs were giving him some problems and he really struggled for the first 5 miles or so. The pace was relaxed and Heather and I had a nice conversation. It was the first time I had run that far with her; she usually runs quite a bit faster. I'm glad she was willing to slow down to my long run pace for this part of the run.
The three of us made it back to the store in time to grab a quick snack and then we were off again. It was a rather small turnout for the run, but there was at least one new face in the crowd. The 12 miles were divided between a 4 mile loop followed by an 8 mile loop in a different direction. Erin, Rick and I ran together for the first 4 mile loop. It went by very quickly.
My legs felt stiff and sore as we started the 8 mile loop. Erin and I ran together and the conversation really helped keep my mind off of my discomfort. I soon got into the groove and things went well until we got to the last few miles. Erin has been fighting through some ankle tendinitis and has gone through some very painful treatments. I was struggling to keep my feet moving. We were both looking forward to the end of this run. The last few miles felt slow, awkward, and painful but we made it.
One thing that kept me going was the meal I knew waited for me that evening -- potato dumplings! One of my favorite foods! My sister-in-law was making the dumplings and Lynette was making bacon and side pork. There was a huge roaster filled with dumplings. I actually restrained myself and only ate a dozen of these delicious lumps of starchy goodness. I figured my 18 mile run in the morning justified my gluttony. I guess I truly do "run to eat."
|Mmmmm! That's right, potato dumplings covered in butter and dark Karo syrup with bacon and side pork.|