It has been so long from my last post I am embarrassed (and guilty)! I apologize and am ready to get back into a steady writing schedule, well hopefully.
So, after I got back from Kenya I came home to Chesterton to hang and relax with the family. I can sum up my entire 4 weeks with one word: ULTRARUNNING. My mother, who is training for the North Face Endurance 50 mile race in September, and I ran nearly everyday with that race in our minds. In the month of July I ran 242 miles and my mom surpassed that by more than 50 miles I believe. We were living, breathing running, and it was the best month of my year. With each long run a new “longest training run” kept bumping up from a 20, 23, to 26.2. Yes we did an official marathon journeying through the entire town of Chesterton. But was more amazing and shocking to myself and my mom was our second run after these long runs. As part of the training we had to run one day for 4 hours, then the next day run for either 3 or 3.5 hours. The first couple of times I went out for the second run I had trouble mentally. I mean, I was used to running a 20 miler then resting for a day and taking the next running day easy! But then I kept getting up that next morning with a better mentality and stronger confidence in myself. Well, it paid off. Two weeks ago my mom set off for our unofficial marathon through the town on a Saturday morning. It was good, we experienced rain, sun, wind, running through the sand and finishing it off singing “Some Nights” outloud through the trails. Then we spent the day trying not to think about the next day’s run…
But we did it. We left our house at 7 a.m decked out in a new pink hat (me) and new pink compression socks (mom) and ran another 20 miles on a flat course leaving the town and heading to the beach. It was such a great run, not because it was a lot easier than we thought it would be, but because we just went out and ran. We did not care how fast we went or if we had to stop for the bathroom. We just ran. We finished the run flying down the hill to our house arriving just as my dad came home from the gym. He took a picture of us (below) and it was a great way to finish the week, the 73 mile week (my longest week ever).
That weekend was two weeks ago at home in Chesterton. Last weekend to mix things up, my mom, a training friend, Tracy, and I all signed up for the Eagle Creek Trail Marathon in Indianapolis, IN. It was my first trail marathon, and afterwards I was ready to give up my road shoes! The race was great. It was a single loop for most of it, running out to the lake 6 miles then coming back. Then another loop for those doing the marathon. Even though we had to pass people coming back in the opposite direction in the woods, it was super easy to pass. The course was marked so nicely, and had diverse stretches of flat trails, hills, technical aspects and roads. The three of us ran together the entire time and finished all together. It was a great race that I highly suggest people sign up for!
Now that it has been a week since the race, I keep coming back to that as one of the most fun running I have done. Race or training run, I enjoyed that course and 4 hours so much. Because it was a loop we were able to count how many women were ahead of us half way through and guessed we were 8-10th place. Finishing, we had caught 2/3 women and finished 7-9th women. After the race and waiting around for the results we were all surprised to learn that we all took first in our age group. Though mom and Tracy came in one-two, since they finished together it was like a tie! We all walked to the car with water bottles, medals, and a tile award.
Though I am sad that the month of July is over and I am so ready to continue this running high for the next couple of months. Though it sucks I cannot train with my mom, I will be returning in September to pace her for her first ultra!