It's been a little while, so time to catch up...
Hogs Hunt left me with a new openness to my running. Yes, there are many questions to where, what, and why, but maybe the more I ask the questions the less I need the answers.
The gift of this new change was taking advantage of some friends that I know and haven't run enough with. Over the past few weeks, I have had some of my finest runs with some of the best company. Yes, there is some mild beating of each other, which is kind of fun, but more than anything it is good time with really great people. This leads me to my latest adventure...
I have been running with Jason for some of his Leadville training. Each run we have done has been solid, and really great work both on the trail and the road. (Can you say midday 90+ degree hill workouts!) We knew the replay of the RHR race was coming up, and when he said he was running, I couldn't say no. But here was the catch: he needed to start at 2AM so that he could get back for his daughter's recital. In admiration for his ability to juggle family and training, I was in!!
Then I thought better of it. I didn't really need 50 miles, so I decided to join him and just run two of the 16.75 mile loops. It all sounded great, as I would be finished before 8AM. Of course, Friday rolled around and I kept thinking, "what did I agree to?" Our departure time was going to be 12:45AM, ouch. Of course, I would have loved to take a nice long nap on Friday, but it never happened, oh well.
At 12:45 Paul dropped me off to meet Jason and his friend, Kirk. Gotta love a husband who is willing to get up for the midnight train to Smithville! Off we went with a laugh of, "what the f are we thinking?"
We got to Smithville a little before 2AM, loaded up and were off for the start of our "race." We had some fantastic laughs: spider web girlie screams, superman falls, and just some "should be drunk" moments. I love how quickly the time can pass in the night when you are laughing so hard.
We returned to the start/finish, so that we could join Ken and Mus and the rest of the race for the real start. Off we went to an incredible sunrise and a great morning. I was having a grand time, and had wonderful chats with Ken and we were just scooting along. The bonuses of loop two were: light; great company; and Joyce's Coke in the cooler...what a treat!
Before long, we came in and my "race" was finished. Jason had one more and Ken and Mus two. Off they went. I relaxed and waited. Jason finished after a while, and had definitely taken a bit of a beating at the end of the last loop. But, I told him given our departure time, start time, and pace...it was a priceless training day! He cleaned up and rallied to go be with his family, just amazing.
Then, Ken and Mus came in before their last loop. I went into crew mode: refilling, cooling, whatever I could do to get them out. It was an interesting situation as with so many people finished and hanging out they were tempted by the conversation. I wanted them to get the heck out of the start/finish and on their way to their third loop. I made them take bottles to keep themselves as cooled and wet as possible, and packed enough fuel for a long loop. Just amazing!! I got the best message from Ken much later that they had finished and it was the hardest thing he had done.
I couldn't have asked for more out of a run: great laughs, conversation, friends, and beautiful trail running on a Texas summer day. I feel so blessed!