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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Over the River and Through the Woods...for 11 Miles!

Today was it...the last long training run before I run the half marathon in Nice, France on April 24, which is just 10 days from now! I'm not gonna lie...these 11 miles were rough, especially the last 2. I actually handled 9 pretty well, but at 9, I really hit a wall and my feet were hurting, my quads started feeling like concrete, and I was wondering if I was going to be able to finish without needing to walk. But I persevered under the encouraging and thoughtful watch of Coach Vicky and endured to the end! We had to climb a stairway before the last half mile and yowza, that was not easy!
The route.
Now I am home. Hurting just a bit. The issues with my sciatica continue to be the most egregious to deal with. That soreness in the lower back and the burning sensation in my feet is tough to deal with but thankfully it does go away. Advil is my best friend right now.
The run itself was truly beautiful. So thankful for sunny skies and not rain! I ventured into areas of London that I have not yet been. St. Paul's Hammersmith is a towering beautiful church that is doing some great stuff in London.
St Paul's Hammersmith
Fun to run almost right into it! The bridges have been excellent during our training runs
Here we go, across the Thames once again
 and today's was not a disappointment! The Hammersmith Bridge is a big, stately, suspension bridge. Beautiful views came in to play as we crossed it.
Inspiring view whilst on the bridge.
 It was a welcome sight as after we crossed we followed a path along the Thames until the end of the run.
The path along the Thames. We kept calm and carried on for 4 miles.
Here I am getting across the bridge.

From there the path along the Thames was great. Not overly crowded, no bikes and just a scenic, quiet view. I genuinely felt pretty good until about mile 8.5. Then it got hard. I wanted it to be over. I began to question the sanity of trying to do something like this. My feet were burning. My quads were turning to stone. You get the picture! Someone sent me this hilarious little emoji chart and I gotta say, crass as it is, mile 9 gets it right. I said to Vicky, "I guess after 9 miles it's natural for your body to want to stop!" But we kept on and eventually two more miles became one more mile, became a half mile, became it's OK to walk, you are done!
I was happy to see the entrance to Kew Gardens, our destination for the day!
Entrance to Kew Gardens.
I hope to return soon, by tube, and actually enjoy the Gardens!
It's always awesome to get done and join the others from the group.
Second to last bridge before the turn off the river.
I'm near the caboose with speed and that's OK. I'm the oldest one in the group! So it's great to reunite and compare war stories upon completion. My pack remains the greatest inspiration.
Done runners waiting for the train back home.
I won't be around next week so this was my last group run before the race. That makes me feel a little sad. But I know the race weekend in Nice is going to be amazing and I am confident that we will all finish.
Key women of my posse. Love the companionship we've established. Will miss it.
Between now and then, I need to take a few short runs, keep stretching, drink water, and rest up. Can't wait. To do it and for it to be over!
Post Run Selfie. Exactly how I felt.