Day one: May 31
Woke up super early on day one, around 3:20, and couldn’t really sleep anymore after that so I just got up and started trying to get ready and calm for the day. My crew members, Kendra and Cornelia, brought my breakfast around 5, and we hit the road for the start a little before 6 am. We had to drive the 25 mins to the park where I was starting and hook up the start banner for pictures and for me to run under for my official start.
I ran the first 4 miles on my own through the city until we got to the river trail I was going to run over 10 miles on. It was a paved bike path kind of like we have in Milwaukee (Oakleaf). Kendra ran this entire part with me and we kept a nice and easy pace. This was good for me because on my own I tend to go too fast without realizing it until it is too late. It was a great running weather day, a little cool and cloudy in the morning and absolutely perfect by afternoon with sun, a breeze but somewhere in the upper 60s I’d guess.
I ran with Kendra until mile 14 or so, then I was on my own as they moved ahead to wait for me at check points and give me directions to the next turn so I didn’t get lost in the suburbs of Denver. I was still moving at a nice chill pace and feeling pretty good considering I was now about 4+miles past my longest training run before coming out here. It was somewhere around mile 16 or 17 that I started randomly getting a pain on the lower outside on my left knee. It was not constant but kind of a “zinger” of a pain that came and went. My left side is my bad side and the side I lays get injured on so I expected it to give me problems, but this was a new pain, I don’t often get pain near my knee, it is usually in the hip/glute area. By mile 20 that was showing up a title as well, but I was mostly hanging in there and still jogging slowly.
Mile 24 is where things got tougher. I really had my heart set on making 33 miles on day one because I wanted to bank some miles so that maybe I really can make it to Wray by the time I have to leave for the airport on my last day. To do that I need to have no more than about 15 miles left on my last day. Which would be 33 a day leading up to that… I pretty lofty goal, especially in my condition, I know…
So after VERY slow jogging with walking breaks every half mile or so from miles 23 to 25 I decided I needed to start walking more. So at this point Cornelia joined me in walking two miles. This brought us to mile 27. I decided from 27 to 30 I would experiment with a combination of walking and slow jogging and then Cornelia would once again walk with me the final 3. That is pretty much what we did, and the last 8 miles probably took as long as the first half combined (not quite but you get my point…) but we made it to 33 miles!!
Cornelia is a great yoga instructor and was able to help me stretch some of the areas that are super tight and causing my pain throughout the day. This definitely helped ease the pain for a mile or so at a time. We got a good stretch in right after I finished and then headed back towards Denver to get me my first meal since 5 am breakfast (at this point it’s about 4 pm) because I can only graze while I am running my miles otherwise I get nauseous when I try to run after a meal.
We spent the night at Susan and Donald’s house, the family that made us dinner the first night and got us the hotel rooms. They are amazing! I got to take a shower and soak in a warm Epsom salt bath, which felt great. But the pain is real and I am. It sure if it is going away from here on out… I worry a lot about day 2 and not sure how much running I will be capable of doing. I have a feeling it will be mostly walking due to all the pain in my left leg from hip to foot. Blah! 😦
One donation came in today, so that was exciting. I hope I get more over the next 5 days and make $13,000. That would be amazing. But either way I beat last year and that was what I wanted going into this year. Well…time to get ready for day 2. Wish me luck and less pain… Eek!