I am so happy, and I could not have done it today without Melissa, my running partner. She’s recovering from shin splints, but she still met me at 7 this morning (I was of course the second one to arrive, she is always so punctual). She kept track of my times between water stops, and said after a while she could time my arrival within 30 seconds to a minute. Now that’s scary! But she’s a CPA, so that does not surprise me.

Overall, she said my time was about 3:20 – that didn’t include the time I took at stops. Until those last 3 miles, I think I was doing between 10-11 minute miles. She was happy to see I was back to my usual sweaty mess at the end, and so was I. No more potassium pills for me, thanks!! I did the teams 5.6 mile loop in Beverly three times – my third lap around was actually shaping up to be the fastest of the three, I think, even when I walked after about mile 14.6. It’s not hard to figure out why – at that point, I just wanted to finish!

The day started out sort of rainy – so you could say 100% humidity, I guess. At this point, I’m used to that. Changed shirts at about the 11.2 mile point (like I said, I sweat a lot, so I’ve even ordered 2 TNT shirts for the marathon.) Luckily it stopped by the time I’d done the first 3 or so miles. It stayed overcast for most of my run, until around the 14.5 or 15 mile point.

At the 13.1 mile water stop, an elderly gentleman was walking past Melissa, and I think he asked how far I’d run and he couldn’t believe I’d already run 13 miles, with 5 more to go, so he asked if we were doing this for a cause. We told him we were both going to be doing a marathon in October, and he was very nice with his remarks and wished us luck. It’s amazing how something like that can buoy you when you need it most.

I am happy to say that I didn’t walk between water stops until I hit the 14.7 mile point. That’s when Melissa told me I was actually running faster that loop than the other two. I have to admit, at that point, I really did feel like a 70 year old woman, or at least like I must have been running like one. But who cares? I felt much better this time, especially at the end, than I did last week. I took 2 ibuprofen around mile 9, anticipating that “tired pain” I got over the last 2 miles last week. That definitely helped – preemptive pain relief!

Oh, and as I was literally about .3 from the end, that’s when the commuter rail decided it needed to come through. “Are you [expletive deleted] kidding me?” is what I yelled out – you can enter your favorite swear word in there – mine began with an F 🙂 Melissa got coffee and I got chocolate milk with a bagel at the Dunkin Donuts afterward. Chocolate milk has never tasted so good!

When I got home, after showering, just like last week, I sat in ice in the bathtub. Sounds painful, but really it feels so much better afterward. Tonight, my husband and I are going out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary of a few days ago, and tomorrow we’ll do something else, hopefully on the water. Tonight, I’ll just be too beat to do much walking around, big surprise right?!

I do have a question though – when you hit that 15 or 16 mile point, what kinds of things can you do to keep up the mental edge to keep going? That’s when the “tiredness” hits me – I need distraction techniques!!

I downloaded new tunes last night on the iPod – what a difference! While this song is not really fast enough to run to for long, it kind of sums up how I felt today:

Melissa, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. This run today was for both of us – you’ll be back to running with me and kicking my butt soon enough.