Back in September I told Susan I would to go Benton to run the last 1/2 of her 22 miler. Susan had come to the River Trail for the last 20 miler of our Chicago Marathon training I know how great it was for me to have her there that day so I was returning the favor. I recruited my friend Kelly to go along so we met in Cabot at 7:00am on Saturday to make the drive to Benton. Kelly is a member of our Tuesday Flyer's running clinic and I just love her she is such a sweetheart. Kelly is also going to Tulsa to run the 1/2 marathon and then in December she will be running the 1/2 in Memphis.
Susan had e-mailed directions the day before, and I printed them off, but forgot them. As we were approaching Benton I noticed the exit #'s were in the 120's and she had said exit 106, I started to get a little nervous Susan hadn't mentioned we were actually starting in the boonies! I had Kelly trying to find the e-mail with her directions just to be safe, but then I remembered Susan had mentioned something about Malvern in her previous e-mails. As we made the exit we noticed a truck stop, but we proceeded on to the Moose Lodge where we were to meet Susan. We were actually early so we decided to go back to the truck stop to use the facilities. As I got out of the truck I realized how I was dressed. I had put warm up capri's on over my skirt, it was kind of bunchy so I pulled the skirt part of my running skirt over the pants. Kelly and I were both laughing pretty hard at how funny I looked!
Of course we had to get a picture.
We returned to the Lodge and just a few minutes later Susan came running up. It was good to see her, and she looked strong. We put on our Garmin's and water belts, and Susan had her peanut butter sandwich and then we were off.
I knew there were going to be some hills on this run but wasn't quite prepared for how many! I don't remember exactly what I said to Susan but I made some sort of disparaging remark about the hills... LOL I HATE HILLS!!!
We hadn't been on the road for too long when I thought a bathroom break might be a good idea, it wasn't an emergency but we saw a gas station and thought we should take advantage of it while we could. I had no idea what other opportunities we might have later on. Unfortunately this gas station had a sign that said no public restrooms. We did get some nice remarks from some of the customers at the gas station, I'm not sure if they were impressed with us or just thought we were crazy but they were friendly. Of course once we realized we weren't going to be able to use the facilities I really did need to use the bathroom. There was a high school across the street and there were quite a few cars parked outside so we thought we would at least try. They were having ACT exams and there was a teacher posted at the door, I saw a moments hesitation in her eyes when we first asked if we could use the restroom, but I guess we looked pretty harmless so she let us in.
The road we were running on was pretty busy and people were FLYING!! We had to run on the shoulder a lot, which wasn't too bad, luckily it was mostly dirt and small rocks. Susan pretty much stuck to the edge of the road but Kelly and I mostly ran on the shoulder. At one point Susan had gotten a rock in her shoe so we stopped for a moment. Another photo op :O
I told Susan at the very beginning that this run was all about her and that Kelly and I were just along to support her. We let her set the pace, call walk breaks etc. In the beginning we started out a little fast but then we settled into a comfortable pace.
Susan had asked me to tell her about Chicago, the first few miles we just chit chatted about other stuff, I couldn't even tell you what we talked about, I was just trying to keep Susan's mind busy. I did tell stories from Chicago and you know how it is when you are talking one thing reminds you of something else so our conversations would go off in different directions.
Here are Susan and Kelly in front of the Brick factor.. an imortant milestone in our run.
Susan and I showing off our "Run for Elijah bands"
Once we reached Malvern we knew we were home free, I had accidently stopped my Garmin for about a 1/2 mile at 10.25. I try not to look at my Garmin too much when I'm running so it took me a little while to notice. My guess is that when I was reaching into the pouch on my hydration belt to get my phone/camera I accidentaly turned it off. I wasn't sure how long it had been off so I wasn't sure how long we had left for sure. Susan said she had a suprise for us, and just before we got to it she said let's "Pre" it until we get to that sign... so I'm thinking we are just about done and I took off and sprinted. It felt GREAT, but I was a little alarmed when I realized that wasn't the end of the run, we still had about 1.5 miles left.
The suprise was an old house being restored by the firm that Susan works for, it really was beautiful, and had some beautiful old stain glass windows. It was a nice break and helped my legs recover from the sprint.
Chasen Susan's husband had driven by a couple of times to check on us... he really is a SWEET guy!!!! He was going to meet us at the end of our run and take us back to my car and then we would follow them back to Susan's house for lunch. Towards the end of the run I tried to get far enough ahead of Susan to take a picture of her when she hit 22, but since I didn't really know exactly how much distance we had left I didn't get the picture exactly at the 22 mile but close.
Here are Susan and Kelly pretty close to the end... Susan looks great considering she was at the end of a very hilly 22-miler!
Susan has a great picture of the three of us at the end of the run that her husband Chasen took for us.
We stretched a little bit and then Chasen being the sweetheart that he is, drove over to walgreen's and bought us bottles of water.
Our after run celebration was great Susan made her wonderful potato salad and Kelly had brought fruit and cheese. Susan has a really cute house, and we fell in love with her backyard. It has a lot of privacy and you almost feel like you are out in the country. We didn't get to stay and chat as long as I would have liked, but Kelly and I had to rush off to NLR to get in another run with my friend's Cheryl and Kim.
This was going to be Cheryl's first outside run since spraining her ankle over a month ago. Lakewood is also hilly, Kelly and I were pretty fatigued and had gotten pretty stiff and sore on the drive from Benton, so we took it pretty easy and walked the hills. We didn't really get to run with Cheryl and Kim much, but it was good to see them anyway.
Here are a few more pictures from the "Susan Run"
Susan.. Mission accomplished
Thanks Susan and Kelly for a great run!