Hooray for being back on the Monon today with my girls!!! Yes, many told me I shouldn’t push it and try running this week. But I’m a stubborn little thing.
This morning, Karen, Meghan, Bri and I met in Broadripple. Last week, these girls rocked their 20+ miler looking like total badasses. The theme was “Survivor” and they didn’t just survive the long run, they dominated it. Read Bri’s blog about it here. This week? We went with an 80′s theme. Given my fun run on Monday, I was well prepared. So were the other girls.
I really wanted to try for 20 miles today, but everyone told me that considering my Achilles Tendonitis, that wasn’t smart. So my goal was 8 miles. And even though we were running in silly outfits, in the pitch dark, it felt amazing to feel my feet moving again and to be with the Perfect Strangers. It dawned on me early on that I was going to have to run the last 4 miles by myself in his costume, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to run.
The conversation was great. I really missed these girls.
When we neared 96th street, where the rest of our girls were waiting for us, our energy picked up. I compared it to the feeling of a race, when you are approaching the place where your fans are waiting. You lift your chest, you run a little faster, you adjust your clothes. You want to look confident and strong. And when we saw Kelly and Amy in the middle of the Monon, jumping up and down and mimicking an 80′s aerobic routine, our energy surged! And then we saw the leotard. Yes, Kelly was wearing a leotard. Love it.
This was my turnaround point which was heartbreaking to leave them running without me, but before we parted ways, we took some pictures. And we met a friend. The “Big Kahuna” loved our outfits and wanted in a picture. And even better! He knows my blog!!! He immediately asked me about Chicago and my injury. We of course had to include him in the picture!
At this point, I waved my girls goodbye and headed back to my car. I considered changing up my hair and removing my sweat band to make myself look a bit more normal, but nah. I decided to rock it to the 80′s the entire way back. Yes, there were a few funny looks, but they only made me run faster.
My Achilles didn’t feel good at this point. I knew I was pushing it, but I couldn’t stop. Music in my ears, alone on the Monon, I finally felt calm. My pace quickened. From 10:10 to 9:45 to 9:25 to 8:43. My right leg was working overtime, supporting the shorter stride of my left. I kept thinking about the Chicago Marathon. 15 days away and my injury may not be better. I made it through 8 miles today – can I do 18 more if my Achilles is no better? The answer is yes. I know in my heart of hearts that I will cross the finish line. It won’t be my best time. It may be my worst. But I will finish.
So now, as I am limping around the house to find ice, I rejoice in knowing that I got to run this morning. What a privilege.