I sent out an email last notice to the people that have joined the Live Uncommon Revolution and to the other CRAZIES that run with us on Tuesday and Thursday. I was not sure how many were going to show up. We made some arrangements to help out some of the runners who were not quite ready to run 15 miles by creating a meeting point at Credit Island. This would allow them to get a ride back to the start of the run at the Isle of Capri and therefore allow them to run with others and not have to run solo.
Around 5:40 we had Jane, Ben, Jen, Chad, and myself ready to depart to the starting point. I was pretty happy with just this turnout and knew there would be more waiting for us. When we arrived at the casino the parking lot was filling up with cars. We ended up with 12 runners ready to tackle a nice long 15 mile ride(John Byrne, I know this is just a warm up for you, but we don't consider you normal :))
Around 6 am we started our run. I had complete intentions of running very slow this morning and taking things easy. Well, that did not quite happen.
You can see that we just kept picking up the pace. We were having great conversation and next you know we were cruising on our way to Credit Island. I felt good on the way out. Once we hit the island the pace picked up even more and were running sub 8:00 which is fast for me on a run of this length. We met up with everyone as my car for some water and Gatorade. While we took a quick rest to gather everyone and let some take a stop from running my legs started to tighten up quickly. My quads entered this run already tired from the bike ride late last night.
I thought we were going to lose more, but I think the power of the group sucked in a few to keep going. Ben decided to stay in for the long haul. His previous longest run ever was the Bix 7 mile course. That is it. We had that covered at the rest station. Ben smashed this run today. He finished up and he still looked fresh. Jane stuck around for a few more miles before calling it a day, but she has good reason to not go all out even though she is still running quite amazingly.
As we headed back I knew it was going to be mind over matter. My quads were dead at mile 10. I just had to fight through it. I knew my body was capable and it was a good test for me because I know on my race journey in Racine I am going to hit some walls for sure and this was a good little test to keep pushing. We had a group of six up front and Ben strategically bounced off the shoulders of Byrne to drop back as Chad was sucked into the Byrne Radar for conversation. The man is amazing. He just pushes and pushes and talks the whole time. Chad and John started to keep pushing ahead. Chad was giving me crap for running at a faster pace than we talked about and then BOOM he was off to the races on the way back. He is looking strong and is going to kill his PR at the half marathon this year. I think today he ran faster than he did in his half marathon race last year. Thank goodness Katie was around to provided me some much needed conversation to help as a distraction. That is one thing that all of us mention at different times is how important the camaraderie is on these runs. The conversations are amazing and not only help the time go by, but give us a chance to share wisdom, insights, knowledge, stories, etc. How often do people get to talk about ice sculptures, termites, race events, training strategies, weather, religion, and running stories all in about two hours? It is almost like living in the mind of Pennington(a teacher at BMS). That is what makes these group runs so special - the relationships that are formed.
Katie helped me hang on to a good pace to end the run hovering around 8:00 minute miles. It was a great run and even though I have ran farther, this felt like a victory in my mind. A victory in that I was able to push past the mental barriers. A victory in having many great conversations with great people. A victory in that 12 of us showed up and pushed ourselves no matter the pace we ran because who else was out at 6 am running? This is a great group of people. There is so much inspiration to be drawn from each one individually. This group and the Live Uncommon Revolution are well on their way to pushing past the barriers to do something special not only in our own personal training, but in helping others. I thank the 11 others who showed up to help me better myself this morning.
My legs are tired. They are sore, but it is a great feeling knowing that I am able to be part of something special.
I am off to a great rest of the day and to rest up before my long bike ride tomorrow. I am going to ride into Fulton, Illinois(my in-laws live there). This shall prove interesting!
I will post a picture once Byrne gets it up on his blog, but this morning we had the following leaders of inspiration: Chad, Ben, John B., John O, Phil, Jane, Jen, Katie, Emily, Anne, Josiah, and myself. Great job everyone!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.