Anyhoo - a few months ago, Katrina told me that she wanted to 'up' her running game. I threw down the challenge of the Johnny's 5 mile run on St. Patty's Day. (I actually thought at the time that it was a 5k, but she seemed game.) She continued her training, and I tried to keep up with mine.
Last monday, I fell off the curb in front of a friends house and thought my race was in jeopardy. Last monday, Katrina fell victim to a horrible stomach flu. OH NO, Atalanta must have turned her back on us. Well, my ankle started to feel better by Wednesday and her stomach began to feel better.......ummmmm. ....maybe Friday night???? When she told me that she was still eager to run the race, I knew that it was going to be a struggle but all of us runners have seen some amazing feats of courage out there on the road. I figured, she can do it!
Katrina and I headed into the city with the windsheild wipers on high and the heater on full blast - crimey it was shitty out! GREAT!! Our arrival at the registration booth was about 30 minutes before the thousands of Rochesterians arrived to prepare for this popular event. One of the first people we saw was my friend Derrick (winner of the Rochester Marathon that MichaelB ran with me) - followed by a whole slew of gree-clad GOOF BALLS from all over the greater Rochester area. While Katrina and I admittedly had difficulty finding anything green to wear, the remainder of the field must have simply bought every single article of St. Patty's Day paraphanalia available in the area. WE SAW IT ALL. I saw a bright green plaid running skort that I secretly CRAVED ( you know my fondness for skorts.)
On with the story. . . Kartina said that she wished to finish in under an hour. Our pace for the first 2.5 miles was well under that. She and I enjoyed some nice conversation - I tagged on the tale-end of an indian sprint team of high school track runners (of course, we played a game of cat and mouse with those boys for the entire run.) They were a good time. Katrina and I planned some of the details for our upcoming trip to Belgium to watch the Tour de France. (I can't wait to get there.) At about mile 2, Derrick passed us on his way home - WOOT WOOT! ( he ended up winning his age group.) Mile 2.5 marked Katrina's WALL - poor girl. She told me that she simply felt like there was no energy in the tank. So, we walked for a few minutes and then took to a simple walk-run tempo. It was about mile 3 where we were joined by Bill (self-proclaimed FAT POKER PLAYER.) He and his two other FAT POKER PLAYERS had challenged eachother to this 5-mile race. Bill tagged along with our run-walk for as long as he could (poor guy hadn't trained at all.) Katrina and I decided to pull away from the back-of the packers for the last 1.25 miles. She was committed to running the remainder of the way - which she did. This was the same last section of the Rochester Marathon that I struggled to finish in September. I could completely sympathize with Katrina and her empty tank (remember, this is about when I started craving italian sausage?)
Katrina and I turned the last corner to head for the finish line - the crowd was fantatstic (and, of course, there was a sausage stand at the finish line. Where the heck was that when I wanted it in September?)
We crossed the finish line 58 minutes. Katrina was happy to finish in under an hour, shocked that she could do such a good job coming off a stomach flu.
Her facebook post yesterday was this:
We finished just under my goal and I didn't have to crawl any part of it nor did any rescue vehicle need to scrape me off the road!
I was so proud of her and found myself wondering what she could have done if she were 100% (kind of like I found myself wondering how Francine would have done 2 weeks ago with an easier course.) The determination of the human spirit has never been so obvious to me as it has been this past month. First, watching my friend Fracine complete her first half-marathon, then watching Katrina push herself to the finish of a very cold and rainy 5 mile run following a week-long illness. I think that those competitive front-runners would question my resolve to run with my newbie friends. I'm telling you this much, it's so much fun and a feat to behold.
My friend, Jenn, (who I talked into running her first half-marahon in Rochester last September) just sent a message to Katrina "welcome to the lrc: Laura's running cult."
HAHAHA - call it whatever you want. I love it! What is really cool is that I am now seeing that all of the people who have begun running with me are now gaining a following of their own. Get out there and run, walk, crawl. Just get out there!