This week I completed the Sandy Hook Memorial 5K and Half Marathon on January 31st. The shooting there affected me so much. I cried for days. My daughter is a first grader, and because I know this age so well, it was so real to me. I was devastated by this. When I saw that the event coincided with my first 20 mile run of the Run Less Run Faster plan, I knew I HAD to do it. I would run one mile for each of those children (I did another run in Dec that my tri told me about that I dedicated to the adults).
I registered too late for a medal, but that was OK. This way, more of my entry fee went to the victims' families. I did get a bib that I printed myself. It was a miserable day for a run, though. I was really glad I had this virtual run to focus on. It was really cold and windy. I am used to the cold from MI, but with the routes that I do here in KY, the wind can just be relentless because it is just so much more exposed, and instead of being a loop in a park, with public bathrooms that I could stop and get more water and use to warm up, it was just going to be me and 20 miles, outside for around 3 hours without stopping or going in. The real feel was in the teens, but I dressed apporpriately (GOR windstopper tights by Mountain Hardware, fleece hooded top, windbreaker, winter mountain biking gloves, CEP socks, GOR windstopper headband, and visor). I also brought some things to pump me up: Flat Cristina paper doll (made by Keira), We Love Amy wristband, my race bib, and I chose my Boston visor since it is Keira's favorite and has a unicorn on it (for unicorn special powers). I brought hot water in my camelback so it wouldn't freeze, but also my credit cards in case I had to stop somewhere (gas station, CVS, or McDonalds) to buy more water. I was really glad starbuck was the opposite direction I run, otherwise I would have likely ordered a hot chocolate and stayed a while.
My goal pace was 9:00min/mi, and I was pretty sure I could meet this on regular day, but my first half mile was straight into the wind, and so difficult! This was going to be a long run for sure! Due to the conditions, I had intially planned that I would run my 10 mile out and back, but twice. The wind was driving me crazy, though, and I decided that I couldn't take the miles back to my house on the bypass twice, so I opted to run into Pewee Valley instead of running home, until I got to 10 miles, and then turn around and repeat the whole thing from there. That turned out to be a good choice. I got to avoid some windy hills, and get some break from the hills. The last 5 miles were super hard, though. I did come in just under 3 hours and on pace. Whew. I am glad that I had the motivation of the virtual run to get me through. I just kept thinking that each one of those little angels needed a mile. I had to give them each one. I got home and just cried and cried.
Doing my long runs on Thursdays had presented some interesting challenges. I didn't have much time before I had to get Soren from school. I had to take a quick shower, and get over to school. I didn't have much time for cool down or eating. It made the day be really long, but it was nice to get it done during the week. I only had a short run scheduled for Saturday. It allowed us to go skiing in IN for the afternoon. We had snow coming all weekend, and it was a short drive away. It wasn't a huge resort, but it worked great for the kiddos. The staff there was super helpful to us. They were great helping the kids on and off the lifts. However, it was total amatuer night there (lots of skiers in jeans and full on camo gear). We saw some crazy falls and people struggling with the lifts. Kind of scary. You can imagine my astonishment when I actually saw a kid land a backflip in the terrain park on skis! Awesome! I have never seen that in person before (only on TV), even in Utah! I guess when it isn't that steep, you have to work the terrain park if you are a local. Keira is doing great on skis. We were just happy for the opportunity to get the kids outside and skiing, even if it wasn't challenging for us. We had a blast, and that was what was important.