But lets back up a minute. After my awesome 12-miler, I had some strange inner hip/groin pain for a few days and I was afraid I either pulled a muscle or created a stress fracture. To avoid injury, I thought it would be smart to take time off. Since I had built in some cushion in my training plan, missing my long run was not going to set me back.
Then the Friday before the following week's long run, Josh and I went rock climbing. Look how cute Josh looks in his climbing gear.
And here I am. Excited and ready to climb!
Too bad I am also a super clumsy and majorly stubbed my big toe, which left me unable to climb and limping for days. Seriously, I'm not exaggerating the pain; I could not put any weight on my toes and running was obviously out of the question. Luckily my toe wasn't broken, just badly bruised. (And still isn't back to 100%).
So, after missing two weeks of long runs, I was nervous to jump back in. But, with my marathon only 8 weeks away, I had no choice.
I coordinated to run parts of my run with some of my favorite running buddies. After running four miles on the Fayetteville trail, Rachel met me to run three nice and easy miles.
Who wouldn't want to run with that face?!
Then, I scheduled it perfectly so as Rachel and I were finishing our three miles, Jessi showed up to run three more with me.
This is not a picture of us running. But we are laughing and having fun, which is how we feel when we run. Sometimes.
Hey Jessi. Let's go to Mojitos again. We had a lot of fun there. Maybe after this weekend's long run? Awesome.
After Jessi and I finished our three miles (in case you've lost count: 4solo miles + 3 with Rachel + 3 with Jessi= 10miles), I was feeling pretty defeated. My knees were aching and my IT bands were furious.
Despite the pain, I was determined to finish all 14 miles. During the last four solo miles I kept envisioning crossing the finish line in New Orleans and it gave me enough strength to push through until the end. These miles were not pretty and I use the term 'running' very loosely (more like using momentum to move forward while I scuffed my feet...I'm sure fellow trail-users were jealous of my stellar form) but 14.00 beeped on my Garmin and that is all that matters!
Even though the run wasn't pretty and ended in an ice bath,
and then even more icing that evening,
I consider it a complete success! It re-ignited my excitement for finishing my first full marathon. So ladies and gentlemen, I'm back!