Just another ordinary early Saturday morning. Up at 5am to get ready for a 6:30 run with the Chicago marathon training group. It was my first 20 miler for the training season. I was sort of dreading this day since all week I had this nagging soreness in my right foot probably due to the hilly route I mapped out for my long run last week. Definitely a miscalculation on my part since I didn’t expect the severity of the ascents and descents even after checking the elevation profile. While on that run, I even stopped to ask myself if I should continue or find a flatter course but for some odd reason, I desperately wanted to view the beach. It was worth the effort as I took a short break to enjoy the scenery. However, the run back was a struggle.
Anyway, this Saturday was a flat course around Mission Bay towards Mission Beach. I was in luck as a group of runners whom I know and can keep up in pace showed up for the run. They kept me company for 14 miles and one even stayed with me for the entire 20 as he needed the mileage to finish off his 60 mile week! That’s what I’ve been missing during my training – the social aspect of running. The miles I ran with them were comfortable and absolutely enjoyable. My feet didn’t even bother me at all. To top it all off, around mile 16 I passed one of the best American marathoners out on his training run and quickly I greeted him “Hey Meb!” He waved back and a second later, he was gone. I was in AWE, of course. Even though it was only a brief moment, this was exactly the motivation I needed to push me through the final 4 miles of my run.