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Sweet Sixteen

08/06/2011

These long marathon training runs are getting a little daunting. Especially for a first timer like myself. I’ve been used to running solo around my hometown, which is okay every now and then, but there is definitely a lot of loneliness involved. So when I heard that my friend Meggie was part of a group of girls, also training for various marathons, that did weekly long runs on Saturday mornings, I knew I had to find a way in. When I was extended the official invite, I could hardly wait. Especially once I started receiving the group emails Friday afternoon~ including this:

Now, I should mention that belonging to this group comes with some effort on my part. All of the ladies live in Indianapolis, whereas I am a solid hour north. Not overly convenient. So when my alarm went off at 430a, I wasn’t exactly bright eyed and bushy tailed. At least this time I knew I wouldn’t be running alone.

I got my materials together and was on the road by 5a for a 6a meetup.

I thought I had everything I needed. That is, until I was about 10 minutes from my house and realized I did indeed forget something: My Garmin. Seriously??! Since I was tight on time and didn’t want to keep the ladies waiting, I drove on without my beloved.

Indianapolis is [unfortunately] still a foreign land to me when it comes to navigating. I was instructed to meet on the Monon Trail Head on 96th street. When I stopped for gas, I threw Meggie a text asking her what my crossroads were. Turned out I still had a little driving to do to get to my destination. Thanks to some good directions and only a mini overshot, I made it only a few minutes late.

The Ladies, Pre-Run

For most of the group, this was step-back week as they had just rocked 17 miles the week before. For some, this week meant 10 miles. For others it meant 13. For me, it meant 16. Yikes. I’ve never run that far. But like it or not, from here on out, every long run is going to be a PDR (personal distance record). Bring. It. On.

After some brief introductions, we were off (ps, I felt extremely welcome right off the bat). The sky was still quite dark, and the thick hazy air made the sweat start pouring almost immediately. But we were ready and excited. Heat, psssshh.

I spent most of the run giggling in the background just listening to the others chit chat. Sometimes I love being an outsider just playing witness to the action around me. I did, however, pay close attention to my fantastic surroundings. Especially when running through Broad Ripple, which is full of great shops, restaurants and people watching. Speaking of people watching, when we started our run, the trail was fairly empty, only passing a few other crazy people here and there. But come miles 6-7, the crowds really started to ramp up. Runners, walkers, and bikers alike. Not quite like my neck of the woods, where I’m usually one of 2-3 solo runners.

At mile 4, we ran into McD’s for an early pit stop. Sometimes the body isn’t fully functioning right at the start of the run, but it only takes a few miles to get things “moving,” if you catch my drift. Plus, a water break was already more than welcome.

Around mile 8, we ran across this beautiful thing.

Some kind people from Indy Runners apparently set up water stations up along the trail on the weekends for those in need. Aka. me. A couple swigs and a little water on the melon made a world of difference.

After our brief stop, we ran on.

,, and on

,, until we heard that final “beep” on the Garmin (not mine obvi) ~ 16 miles, complete!!

Monon, you’ve been owned!! 😉

After pottying, stretching, and bragging about my accomplishment to a select few, I got back on the road for my hour trip home. But not until I ran through Starbucks for my first round of refueling. Bob Evans and Concannon’s followed shortly thereafter.

Overall, the bod felt good today! My right foot gave me a little grief now and then, but my legs didn’t quit. I’m excited to test my new distance skills at the Rock ‘n Roll Chicago Half Marathon next weekend. 

There has been quite a bit of discussion (of which I have just recently entered) about an appropriate name for this lovely running group. So far, the options are:

  1. Womathoners
  2. Sole Sisters
  3. Perfect Strangers (if not only for the theme song)

They are all beyond fitting. Especially #3. I’m just on board in the event that a team shirt is in the future! Oh, and for the comradery too.

I’m proud of my efforts and I’m totally excited to have found this group of gals, who are all pure awesomeness. It’s so empowering to see a group of women on a mission to do something so very few people get to do in a lifetime. And I’m privileged to be apart of it. So thank you so much for letting me tag along today and I hope you’ll have me back!!

& now, it’s time for a nap.

 

Oh! You can read Meggie’s recap here.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Cheryl DeWitt permalink
    08/07/2011 12:38 am

    Thanks for sharing pics of your run. The Monon is apart of my youth. The Monon Bell is a trophy for the winner of the Wabash College vs. DePauw University annual football game. Having relatives who graduated Wabash and my mother was raised in Crawfordsville, I naturally cheered for Wabash. The mention of Broad Ripple brings back great memories for me. It was a great hang out in the 70’s and 80’s.

    • 08/07/2011 9:44 am

      I always forget you used to do this Hoosier thing! I’m still waiting for you to come take me on an official tour of the city!

      PS, I so wish we were closer to Broad Ripple and that area of Indy. It’s where I want to be. We will see!

      PPS, a bunch of the girls I was running with graduated from DePauw.

  2. 08/07/2011 12:44 am

    Awesome 16 miler!! Congrats on the new distance PR!

  3. 08/07/2011 1:01 pm

    You are freaking awesome! xo

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