Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sixteen miles...Done!

Sonya and I met in the parking lot just as the sun was starting to peek over the foothills. Mt. Rainier was looming above us, the sun was glowing and reflecting from the glaciers on the eastern side, while the rest of the mountain was shadowed. Our route today was on the Orting section of the Foothills Trail - we were actually covering the first legs that each of us ran in the Rainier to Ruston 50 mile relay in June. The trail is wide and flat and paved. It cuts through downtown Orting, a tiny town in the valley, directly in the lahar zone of Mt. Rainier. Our plan was to run to South Prairie and back - a total of 15.4 miles. To make it an even 16, we ran the two blocks that make up downtown Orting, then turned left and ran two more blocks, then turned around and ran back to the start point, and finally on to the trail.

There wasn't anyone else out on the trail. It was quiet and wonderfully cool - about 53 degrees when we started. The miles flew by as we caught up on everything that has happened over the last few weeks. Our pace was great and we both felt strong. We took walk breaks as usual, although every time one of us hit the gu, we would add an extra minute. We probably ran for over an hour before we finally started to see an occasional biker and one lone runner coming from the opposite direction. Eventually, we made it to South Prairie. We were both so excited - all these years, we've listened as others in our group talked about running to South Prairie and finally, finally, we had done it! We had a quick pit stop, then turned and started back.

We were seeing more and more bikers and one or two runners, but it was still pretty quiet. We were just starting to wonder why we hadn't come across the 7:00 am group of Y runners, when we turned the corner and there they were - Rick, Melissa, Lori and Linda. They were going 10 miles, so we didn't stop to chat, but just kept moving forward. We ran alone for a while longer, then Rick caught up to us and suddenly they were all there again - they had reached their turnaround and caught back up with us. A little farther along and we saw Monica, then Elaine running out to meet us, a little farther and there was Barb and Mark. By this point we'd kind of split off into pace groups again, but everyone was in sight. Somewhere in here Puddyrat ran by, then turned around and caught us too. Sonya and I cruised back into the park feeling good and strong. A little whoopin' and hollerin' , a little dance and a lot of stretching finished out the running portion of our morning.

Our time was 3:10:07, complete with four potty stops, and a 1-2 minute walk break every 9 minutes. I can't believe how good I felt (and still feel). My hips were starting to get a little sore, and so were my feet, but nothing that would stop me or slow me down. I can't believe I just ran 16 miles, my farthest distance ever! In fact, I'm feeling so confident that I have decided. I think I'm ready. I'm signing up for the Portland Marathon today.

15 comments:

robtherunner said...

Michelle,

I am so happy that the run went so well. We were thinking about you and Sonya this morning while we were running and have been waiting to read your report. It sounds like Portland is a go. How Exciting!

matt said...

I am feeling pretty excited for you, Michelle! Every new report on your running just seems to be more positive. That is very inspiring to me. I missed your Haulin Aspen race on your list...I am going to add that to my master calendar so that I don't forget. That is going to be a great gage for your marathon. Keep feeling good out there :)

Sarah said...

Awesome! What a great feeling that is to go farther then you ever have. Portland here you come! : )

susie said...

You are inspiring me! Way to go on the long run. You are making it sound too easy:)

Running by.... said...

Congrats on the great run! Can't wait to hear all about your training for Portland!

olga said...

Yee-ha! 16 miles done, no problem. Next on the list - goals looming! I had no doubts:)

Nicole said...

Nice job and what great weather you have out there.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

OMG Michelle!!!!! I'm doing the happy dance for you, that is AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!!!!!!

Yay!

Woo hoo!

(okay, I'm done.)

No I'm done.

This deserves a celebration! This is so incredible! Yay! I'm so excited!

WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

uh, that should have been "No, I'm NOT done."

TryAthlete said...

I'm happy the run went so well for you. Congratulations.

(BTW - there is a pic of the Maid in the post before)

Jack said...

Congratulations on a great long run! Can't wait to read your Portland race report.

Thomas said...

Good work! I told you, long runs are great. In fact every single one of my runs that was memorable was a long run - and, I might add, the vast majority of those memories are positive.

To run for over 3 hours is quite an achievment - and a good sign for your (first) marathon.

Anne said...

Congratulations on making the commitment to the marathon. Now, let's hope all the long runs go as swimmingly as this one did. Crossing the three-hour mark, even with well-timed breaks, is a big accomplishment.

Dori said...

Sixteen miles is a significant distance--well done!

craig said...

You know that if you keep going like this you are going to have to find a new name for your blog.