Day SIX: May 24th, 2015. MS Run the US; Final Day! 13.3 miles to Steamboat Springs, CO!
Last day! I cannot believe it. I am so close! I am filled with mixed emotions about being to this day. We were going to sleep in an hour later today since I have less than 14 miles left so it won’t nearly as long as I am used to, but my body seems to be on a schedule now and I woke up at 4:30 just like I have every day so far. So we decided to get up and get this show on the road. We got to the starting spot- mile marker 119, and started running around 6:30 a.m. Sam once again was going to join me for a bunch of miles in the beginning then she would go with Ashley and Aaron when I was getting close to being done, so she could see me finish. I was also updating Bryan on time frame on when I was starting and when I thought I would be done, so he and his friends could also get to my finishing position on time.
My ankle really hurt right away, so we decided to do most of the running on the right side of the street, rather than the recommended left side for running. Too much time on that side was most likely the cause of the ankle pain as it was. My shins also went through their normal tightness and discomfort for the first 3 or 4 miles, so I had to stop a few times to stretch them out until they got warmed up and the pain went away. My ankle pain turned a little duller, rather than the sharp pain I started with, as the miles went on. It was the coolest morning I had run in so far, with the temperature being around 37 degrees when we started out. But for running it felt just right.
Sam stayed with me until mile 9, then she went with the crew to the finish, since it was only 4 miles away! Before they left they gave me the MS Run the US baton to run with the rest of the way so we could do an official hand off between me and Aaron who would take over running next. I could not believe I only had 4 miles left out of 165! This week of running has gone WAY faster than I expected it to! But I suppose time flies when you are doing the thing you love to do the most, which for me is running.
I tried to pick up the pace a bit, but I was physically hitting a bit of an energy wall, as well as an emotional wall. I was not sure how I felt about being finished already. Part of me was ready, and the other part wanted to slow down the pace and make these last 4 miles last forever. The week went faster than I expected it to. And as much as there were reasons I was ready to be home, such as to be back with my boyfriend and cats on a day to day basis, this was also the most amazing experience for me. For running to be the one and only thing I had to do each day was like a dream come true! No other responsibilities except to run a certain amount of miles per day. And see a totally new place while doing it! How amazing! But it was coming to a close, one step at a time towards the finish line.
The finish was a couple miles into Steamboat Springs at a little park off of highway 40. Ashley, Sam, Bryan and his friends were all there cheering for me when I turned the corner for the last straight away to run under the banner that said “Finish”. I stopped a few steps after the end and had a moment where I was not sure if I was going to cry or celebrate. I fought it off and walked towards Bryan who was headed my way and gave him a big hug. Then there wasn’t much time to think about being sad because there were pictures to take and other things to get done- such as a session with a physical therapist who had volunteered to see me, and the post run interview.
The post run interview is just a series of questions asked by the videographer- usually Logan, but in this case Ashley because Logan is out of town, that are recorded and used to make the end of the segment video of the runner after they are done. So a few weeks from now I should have my very own video highlighting my week of running. It will be awesome to see the whole thing put together in a couple minute video clip.
Well, my adventure that I have spent the last 9 months focusing on has come to an end. I will cherish every memory, every step of every mile, every picture, every hill, and every dollar raised. It will be hard to let this adventure go. Not sure where my energy will go now that it is done. I have a lot of races I want to do this summer and lots of running to do of course, but it no longer feels quite the same to be training just for myself rather than for the good of others. This is definitely something I will strongly consider doing again next year.
Thank you for following along! I cannot believe I have been doing this blog since the beginning of January and it is pretty much coming to a close with this post. I hope you enjoyed reading it even half as much as I enjoyed writing it. 🙂 Remember: Anything is possible! Follow your dreams! All you have to do it want it bad enough and put the work in and it can be yours.