16 Miles

We did our first 16 mile run on the training program yesterday. There’s some kind of border at 15 miles. 14 miles is just a bit longer than a half marathon. Not even a whole mile longer. It’s just a half where you get lost or go a bit off track or something. 15 is a different deal. It’s not just the five in the ones column. 15 is a different kind of pain or endurance. It’s a much greater chance for the “wheels to come off the bus” as runners like to say.

Anyway, this training plan is ambitious so we jumped from 14 to 16. The weather was dodgy this past weekend and Fast Friend wanted to avoid the snow on Saturday. I was daunted by the cold on Sunday, but that’s what we settled on. Then Saturday’s storm brought more snow than expected, but the wind was just as bad as expected. Blah, blah, blah. The story of February in New England. We met Snarky Girl at Lyman Orchards and set off. The cold was actually not that bad. I don’t know when I’m going to stop worrying about cold weather, but it’s almost never as bad as I think it will be. Our seven mile loop over there is just gorgeous and I think we all really wanted to run it. We got these pictures at the top of the big hill and felt great.



Such a pretty day. The back side of that hill must get less sun or something because the road was much slicker. There was also a lot of traffic heading into the newly-opened ski resort at Powder Ridge. We did our second loop heading towards Wadsworth State Park, hoping for cleaner roads and less traffic.

This run felt hard. At one point we were talking about birds. Not just what birds we were seeing while running, which would have been ok, but which people in our lives had been especially interested in birds when we were kids. I thought, damn, this is digging the bottom of the conversational barrel here. This run has got to end and yet, we still have six miles to go! Snarky Girl cut out shortly after the bird conversation. Because of her knee, not because we were boring her to death. I think. And Fast Friend got going on some university gossip, which is always good for a few miles.

By the end, we were hurting. We had to do a mile or so out and back and timed it so we could walk the driveway back to the Lyman’s parking lot. Somehow that walk at the end feels like a special treat when it works out that way. My right hip starting cramping up at 14.5 miles, which is quite disappointing. But when we were done, we felt super happy it was over, incredibly tired, but not demoralized. Mission accomplished! Bring on the Colchester Half next weekend!




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