Saturday, December 24, Terri and I completed our 21-mile training run! The night before I went out and placed signs along the route for motivation. We knew this would be a solo run for each of us, but we would see each other at different points along the route.
We started the run by completing the first 7 miles in our small town. We ran the small country roads and tiny “subdivisions.” At mile 5, my cousin sees me and yells, “Run, Forrest, Run!” I laugh, wave, and continue on this trek.
Then I see that in front of our bottles of water at the next stop someone has placed two huge cans of beer. I laugh out loud, a deep belly laugh. My aunt and uncle come into view from next door. My uncle tells me that he bought us beer and I tell him I’ll be back later to celebrate.
I was also excited to see that my parents put up a sign for us. I was so touched that they drove out to our route to put the sign up. The thought of the support of my aunt, uncle and parents stayed with me for the rest of the run. It kept me going!
During mile 19 I finally get to interact with another person. A little boy is riding his bike and our short communication goes like this:
I wave. He waves. I say, “Merry Christmas.” He says, “Merry Christmas.” He rides along side me and asks, “Are you a jogger?” I reply, “Yes, I’m a runner. I just ran 19 miles and I’m training for a marathon.” He responds, “Oh.” He turns around on his bike and I continue on my solo journey. (I don’t think he was impressed.)
I was still feeling relatively good at mile 20 and 21 so I decided to complete one more mile. That last mile was suddenly agony and I slowed down. After it was finished, I stretched and looked down the road for Terri. I stretched and looked down the road. Stretched and looked. Then I saw an ambulance with lights on going toward the last part of our route. I panicked and walked ½ of a mile in search of my friend. I didn’t see her so I turned around to get to the car. That’s when I see the car drive by and realize that now she is looking for me. I smile inside from relief and she comes pick me up. We hug and laugh at the thought of both being worried about the other. We are both feeling the soreness setting in, but we are both excited from completing this monstrous run. We take more after photos as we pick up our signs and water bottles and beer.
Thanks to all of the family, friends, and people in our community who support us and keep us running!