This morning was my last “long” run before the Women Rock Marathon in just 2 more weeks! Yay! I feel ready and am getting to the point where I just want this race to get here :).
I ran 15 miles this morning with the See- Us Run Des Moines group. I ran with a Senior named Jordan, who keeps a pretty steady pace and a positive attitude. I felt a little guilty as I explained to her pre-run that I was anxious to put the 15 miles behind us because I wanted to hurry to Drake University to see all of Iowa’s Olympic Athletes in a homecoming ceremony. We started off at a fairly good pace, however, by mile 3 we had slowed to a 11:30 min/mile pace, which is pretty slow for her. I tried to help her pick up the pace by engaging her in a conversation and running a little ahead of her to keep her going. It worked. Soon we were back to a 9:45 min/mile pace. We spent a little bit of time at the water stop at mile 5 where Jordan’s dad was manning the stop and then took off. We were running a portion of the Bill Riley trail eventually connecting to the Principal Park trail. We hit mile 9 and I noticed how fast this run was going! Not by pace, but by how the time seemed to be clicking by. I was really enjoying the course and the company as we contemplated her spring break dilemma: go to Florida with friends or to the Bahama’s with her Marine Biology class, where there’s a chance she wouldn’t know anyone… oh to be back in high school and THAT as your biggest dilemma facing you :).
Near the end of the run, I challenged her to be the first girls to finish… she asked me if that was code for her to pick up the pace… uh oh! I felt really bad that she took it that way and assured her she was doing amazing just the way she was running! We met up with another duo at the next water stop and ran the last 3 miles back to Roosevelt High School together. It was a great morning- fall’ish and a great run!
Afterwards, I hurried home to shower, stretch, and knock down my banana-avacodo protein smoothie. I picked up my mom and we headed out to Drake to hear from our hometown “heroes” :). Just being at Drake was inspiring- the anticipation of seeing these incredible athletes was building. First, we heard from Miranda Leeks, an Archerist (is that how you say it?), then… Lisa Uhl, who ran the 10,000 meter track and field race! She was named the 2010 female track and field athlete of the year and she was so excited talking about her olympic experience it was contagious! Jake Varner, a wrester was next, followed by the Chow’s who train both Shawn Johnson and Gabby Douglas. Next… Lolo Jones! She is so honest and real in describing what she is feeling post-Olympics, finishing 4th that it brought tears to my eyes. And she is NOT giving up! She only plans to use this to work harder, go to the World Championship races and qualify for the Olympic team again in 4 years. I love that girl and am so so proud she is from Des Moines- what a talented, graceful example to have representing this city. Finally, Shawn Johnson and Gabby Douglas finished the morning’s event. Gabby, well, what can you say about her that hasn’t been said? She is so bubbly, confident, and like Lolo, only looking to use this experience to work harder, improve, and win at the next Olympics.
I left feeling so inspired. It made me want to get out there and go for another run! It’s a great example to put less than ideal races, injuries, bad training days, bad performance days – put all of those behind you and give it all you’ve got every day! I’m ready :).