#6. Run 15 miles

January 28th, 2012. I ran, not only 15 miles, but 15.66 miles in 3 hours and 7 minutes. I ran the inaugural 'Go Short, Go Long, Go Very Long' run in Tulsa, OK put on by Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa.  I ran the 25K and got an awesomely cute medal.

The weather was gorgeous, I felt great, I planned on running with my friends (who I adore!), and Eric was running the race, too! All good things for me.

My friends and I started out pretty slow, which if you've ever run a race, you know that is really hard to do! We had plans to run the first 5 miles and then run intervals (5 minutes running, 1 minute walking) the rest of the race.  We sort of broke into a couple groups and when I realized that, I figured I should try to just run it. Let's just see how it goes, right?

Turns out - with half the training of when I ran OKC and the hills that don't exist in OKC, I still managed the same time as OKC. Sa-weet!

The one thing I didn't count on was the hill on Turkey Mountain.  That was probably close to midway through the race and it was awful.  Every time I thought I was done with a hill, I'd turn the corner and there was another one.  Man, did that do a number on me.  But I kept going.  I was determined to see what my 13.1 time was - so I could compare it to the OKC half I ran last year.

There was this one little section where you had to turn left and run about .25 mile and then turn around.  One could easily (maybe not 'easily') have turned right and skipped that part, but no one did. As I was going down that stretch, telling my mind to shut up about running all this way down here just to turn around and run back, I saw Eric. :) That definitely put a hop in my step. He was already on his way back and was looking pretty good for having a good time on the race.

I kept going, trying to stay on pace to either beat or match the OKC time.  When there was about 5 miles left, I saw Eric.  He started run/walking to wait for me so we could run together. I got the run the last bit of that race with him.  Because of our family size - we rarely get to run together.  We even more rarely will ever get to race together. But it worked out this time for us to cross the finish line together.

Overall, it was a great run.  My back started getting really sore around mile 13 or 14, but that's to be expected. I crossed the finish line with a smile and felt euphoric. I took an ice back when we got home and had very minimal soreness, although my legs felt quite heavy for a few days afterward.

My MARATHON is in a month.  This weekend, I will be running 20 miles with my training girls (with whom I will also be running the marathon) and I can't wait.  Every new PR distance makes me feel that much more able.  When people ask me why I run, there are all kinds of things I can say: it's time alone with my thoughts, it's something I'm doing for myself, it helps me stay healthy, it's my escape, it's my 'girl's night out', etc.  While all of those answers are true, the truest answer is simply:

I run because it makes me feel strong.

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