Sunday, September 27, 2009

Running with Angel

I don't know if you ever read the story about what happened during my 1st ever 1/2 marathon....but my angel helped me through that and allowed me to accomplish my goal. It was a totally amazing experience, one I will never forget.Today I had another amazing run, a run with Angel. Let me tell you about it!

Last night we took our son, Cotton, and his girlfriend, Angel, out for dinner to celebrate Cotton's 27th trip around the sun! While we were visiting we got to talking about running the "Rock". Angel mentioned that she would like to give it a try. She has only run a couple of times before, and I think they said her longest run had been about 3 miles. I told her that I would be happy to run with her if she really wanted to go. Cotton warned her that we get up REALLY early to go run, but she said she wanted to give it a try, so we all agreed we would meet there between 5:15 and 5:30 A.M.

I was really excited because, like most people, when I find something I enjoy as much as I enjoy running I like to share it. Angel was going to give me that opportunity. I found out later that she was worried that she would upset our training schedule for our marathon. Nah, our goal isn't the same as Cotton's! He is training to finish the marathon in a time that would qualify for Boston - so he has a very specific schedule that he needs to follow to accomplish that goal which includes long runs, intervals, hill repeats, track runs, etc. Our goal is to get across the finish line before they send out search parties looking for us! This allows us a bit more leeway in our training so I was happy to take a day to let her give White Rock a try!

We got to the meeting place at about 5:20 and they were there waiting for us. Cotton went ahead and took off and the rest of us warmed up a little and then we were on our way. Angel has a good form and she was running well. We got just about a mile and a half before she needed to rest a bit and walk some. This is what we had all told her she would need to do. She walked a little, ran a little more, and walked and ran. After that run she was feeling the effects of the energy drink she had that morning so we rested a little extra :) .... Then we were off again, in search of a good water fountain. We did the run-walk to the fountain and all got some water. Angel felt pretty good - so I continued letting her set the pace. I would just tell her when we hit each mile mark.

I really figured that we would get to the 3.5 mile water stop and she would be ready to turn around and head back to the car. That would give us a 7 mile round trip run - which is REALLY good for someone just starting out...but she said she thought if she kept doing the run-walk she could make it the entire 9.1 miles around the lake - we went once again.

As we would come to different parts of the trail I would talk to her about our experiences, "This is where I 'died' when I got ticked at some runners that passed me so I tried running really, really fast...I should have known better!", or "Oh, cool, we are nearly to the spillway - you'll like that, it is a great downhill for a pretty good piece!". After the spillway she needed to stop and adjust her socks...they had slipped down and bunched up underneath the arch of her foot and they were rubbing a little. OUCH...the beginning of blisters! NOT fun!

We got to the spot where I thought she might have some problems and I told her that we had gone 4 and 1/2 miles, so there was no turning back now, and that if she would run all the way to the next bridge I would tell her something really cool that she had just accomplished, besides run/walking the "Rock". She took off and we ran to the bridge. As we slowed to a walk I turned and grinned..."You just ran 1/4 mile UPHILL, after running half of the lake! What an AWESOME accomplishment!" I was just sooooo proud of her!

We made it to the next water stop and she pulled off her shoe and sure enough there was a blister on one foot and a hot spot on the other. She was still trying to run/walk, but Rick made her stop and walk when he noticed that she was really beginning to favor the foot with the blister. It was throwing off her gait, and that is a way to really end up injuring yourself. He told her not to try to be a hero, to just walk the rest of the way. I know she was feeling really good, and really wanted to run, but she listened and we walked most of the rest of the way.

For only her 3rd time running, to have run nearly a full 10K (6.1 miles) I was so impressed. We had a really good talk, she kept a pretty steady walking pace, and we completed the "Rock" in just over 2 hours.

I felt amazingly good through the entire run - I was able to run and talk, to push her just a little, and we got to watch the sun rise over the lake! What a blessing for me! I am so, so glad that we were talking about the run at dinner, that she said she would like to try it, and I am so VERY glad that she came out and gave me the blessing of being my running buddy today! Rick and I were talking on the way home, and we feel that we would love to run with her any week she wants to come and join us.....She'll probably end up speeding me up in the long run (pun intended, lol).....

Can you see how lucky I am? I have run with the Angels TWICE now!!!! Thank you ANGEL!!!


RVingGrams said...

What a Blessing!! Thanks for sharing your run with "Angel"

Clint Collier said...

Awesome! i wish i could get jenn out there with you guys!!

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This is about my life. My life as a wife. My life as a mother. My life as a Memaw. My life as a teacher. My life as a runner. My life such as it is.