I was nervous to sign up for another race since I knew resting my every aching knee was important. But after the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K, I realized I can’t quit now. I need to run, even if it is shorter distances and not as often as a true “training regime.”
So when my friends Carolyn and Melissa said, DOOOO ITTT, well, I did…I signed up that night, and was officially registered for the Fox and Turkey trot in Batavia, IL. It was a simple 4 miles, and I knew no matter what I could complete the distance.
The night before the trot I couldn’t sleep. My IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) that I acquired back in my military days has been rearing its ugly head as of late with added “life stressors.” I had my gear set out, and tried to go to bed at a decent hour, but was awoken to terrible stomach cramps. I made several trips to the bathroom before being able to head out to the course. (Sorry, TMI). I prayed my stomach would hold out, as well as my knee. Thankfully my stomach cramps helped me not think about the knee so much. I wasn’t able to eat before running which isn’t uncommon, but I drank two bottles of water and felt, ‘ready.’
We met by the windmill near the river, and it was so awesome to get a good Carolyn hug in. We missed meeting Melissa unfortunately, but we were able to high five on the course.
The course was VERY narrow, so we started out slow and steady trying to weave through the other 2K runners that signed up for the race. Carolyn and I stayed together for nearly the first mile, but she knows me too well and told me to go on without her as running at certain paces hurts my knee even more. I tend to enjoy staying near the 9:30-10:00 pace to keep “warm” and comfortable, so I bid her farewell promising to meet her at the end and did my ‘take off.’ I love, love, love when the stride just hits and I find my pace. I was doing well at a 9:30 pace until the runners who started first started at the turn around and we were forced to be squished to the right side of an already narrow path. I had to slow to not get trampled, but managed to keep steady until the 2 mile mark where a welcomed water stopped greeted me.
I allowed myself to walk through the water stop, and immediately took back off. My breathing started to get the best of me as my stomach cramped, so I walked for just a few seconds around the 3 mile mark. I allowed myself to take in the sights, and even saw a guy TAKE HIS SHOES OFF and run barefoot the last mile. Watching him made my feet hurt, LOL.
The last corner was where I remember seeing my family cheering me on for the Fox Valley 20 miler so I gained renewed strength, and finished strong. I finished 77thin my age group, at an official time of 40:57/4 miles. My best race? Definitely Not. But was it refreshing to get back out and race? OMG, yes. Running has always been my therapy…and this race did wonders for my soul.
I was able to see my Carolyn cross the line, and get more awesome hugs in. YAHOO! So proud of her for finishing strong at 110thin our age group at a 45:09 pace. She rocks.
Thanksgiving was spent with my family at my sister’s house, and we had an amazing spread of food and laughter. I felt bad I have been so exhausted from work, as I had to take a quick post-turkey nap on the couch, LOL. Yummy turkey, awesome awesome day.
I had to work today, and it was a long 10 hour (plus 2 hour commute) day. We were blessed to get AppleBee’s gift cards from my folks for our anniversary, so tonight we took the kids to dinner and came home to relax. I sadly needed ANOTHER nap, so slept quietly on my recliner while listening to Christmas music. After which we worked on decorating the house.
A tradition our family has come to love is building my little Christmas village each year. Brian loves getting me new additions for it, and we always do it together.
So despite being tired, I feel very blessed this holiday season. I have an amazing family, and amazing friends which are family to me as well.
Doesn’t get much better than this now, does it?