Sunday’s run was another 50 miler!
Got started around 7:15 a.m. running with David who has been getting ready to qualify for Boston. We ran race pace, which is 7:26 minutes per mile, for 8 miles, then he peeled off to run on his own, and I stopped for water and to meet up with teammate Kimberly. She was starting her run, 22 miles and her longest of the year, and I was pacing her for the first half.
We had a good run and talked the whole way. We talked about running, our Honorees, our friends, about food, more about food, and we had a great time! We ran about a 10:00 minute per mile pace and the time and the miles went quickly. After 11, we stopped in for water where teammate Rachel met up with Kimberly for Kimber’s last 11 and I took off on my own. I think they talked about food some more because they went out for breakfast right after they were done. Nothing like breakfast and coffee after a long run. I so wanted to go with them!
Out on the trail again, I met up with teammate Gbenga who was running his longest at 18 miles! I ran with him for about his last 4 or so and we had a great run and talked the whole time too. He got in his 18 miles and was all smiles and still looked like he could do 26.2 no problem. It was a wonderful morning of running with friends and getting to know them!
By this time, I started to get tired. Worst part was I was only at 30 miles and I needed to do at least 50! I think running the different paces with all my friends caused my legs to tighten up, especially my quads. Honestly, I was ready to quit. It was a beautiful morning and I had fun running with all of my teammates, but I really felt like calling it a day and going to breakfast with them. My head just wasn’t in it this morning.
However, Rachel saw me in the parking lot where she and Kimberly were just finishing. She noticed I was looking pretty diminished so she came over and asked me how I was doing. I told her, “Not too good. I think I am done!” I whined quite a bit, I was tired, my legs hurt, my feet hurt, but she didn’t want to hear it. Rachel told me, “You’re going to do this! Get moving Mr. Lewis!”
She got in my face, looked me in the eye and then she put it to me directly and asked, “How many did you say you were going to run? Why are you running?” I said 50 miles today, and 100 miles in October for 100 Honorees of course, and she knew I couldn’t do any less than what I said I would do and I knew it too. So, with her help, I made the decision right there to quit whining, ignore the sore legs, and forget about breakfast. I loaded up with water and some food and headed for the Scout Trail which is a 15 mile loop and once you are on it, you might as well stay on it and get it done. So, I did.
The Scout Trail is rougher than the other trails that I’ve been running so this one took a lot longer but it’s also isolated and I think that helped. Being alone on the trail helped me get focused on what I needed to do. I needed to run and stop thinking about myself. I just needed to run so I could be prepared to run well in 32 days. That was all I needed to do! I stubbed my toes on the tree roots and rocks about a dozen times but I stayed on my feet the whole way. It took me 3.5 hours to clear 15.5 miles so I think I have to revise my time goal for Oil Creek which is also rough trail and full of hills. I’ll be thinking about that for a while…let you know…
I’m tired, my feet hurt, my legs hurt, but it’s a good hurt. Thanks to Kimberly and Gbenga for the great conversations on the trail. Thanks to Jim for bringing me Gatorade on the Scout Trail and David for checking up on me and inspiring me with his own 25 miles in 3:12! And a huge thanks to Rachel for helping me find my motivation!
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We’re almost there. Fight the good fight! – Ernie
Way to hang tough Ernie!! What a great group of running buddies you have! All of you are an inspiration to the rest of us!