Over the past month the size of our group has grown considerably, which is great to see. Today's group of 13 actually seemed small for a Saturday run.
Coming into this run I was a little apprehensive about completed the planned 26.2 miles because I had been having some pain in my legs that was reminiscent of femoral stress fractures I had a few years ago. The weird thing is that the pain is most noticeable after sitting on my ass all day at work. Ryan made the brilliant suggestion for me to quit my job, which sounded very appealing but isn't likely to happen any time too soon. Anyway, I felt good when we started but had prepared myself to stop early and weep in the car while Emma finished the long run on her own.
Luckily I never faced any pain during the run and the whole thing went fantastically well. After a somewhat haphazard few miles where Emma and I got separated from the group and started running the opposite direction of everyone else we eventually caught up to the rest of the group around 10 or 11 miles. Most people called it a day at 13-13.5 mile but Jim G joined Emma and me for a second lap of the Oak Hill trails. We got off of that loop just in time because there were some college cross country runners just about to start a meet and at least one person didn't seem to like the fact that we were running on their course. Whatever, their stupid course didn't even take in the big hills of the Oak Hill loop, wimps.
Jim finshed at about 18 miles and Emma and I set off for another 8 miles that included the Campus Loop, River Loop, Valley Farm and then back (the way the RACE goes minus the unmown fields). This meant finishing on the long uphill of the Campus Loop which I always think of as the hardest part of the race, yippee! At 24 miles, just as we crossed the Valley Farm Road about to enter the Campus Loop Emma suggested we run all the hills for the rest of the way.
"You mean run down all the hills right?"
"You do realize it's all uphill from here?"
It's all good training I guess. We finished the 26.38 mile run in 4:15:42 and made our goal of completing this distance faster than we ran the 24 miles at Bradbury last weekend. Bradbury is killer. Pineland is plush. After the run we stopped by the revamped Visitors Center for coffee and some amazing peanut butter and chocolate things that replaced all 2,500 calories we burnt during the run.