|Pre's older sister, Frank Shorter and Me!|
For me, once it is 70° or higher I feel like I'm running on the sun. That reminds me of my first half marathon, Disney's 2011 Princess Half. I'm not kidding at all when I say that Lesley pretty much carried my carcass for the last 5K. The shade was gone. I had never run more than 11 miles in my life. And it was a bazillion degrees. I really think my eyes were rolling in the back of my head between mile 11 and 12 after you make that sharp turn into the Epcot parking lot over that last little rise. Anyway, it was 82° when I got off work. Too. Hot. At 8:50pm I was finally out the door to start my 5 mile run.
My five miles were fantastic! I just made up my path as I went along. I never once walked or even toyed with the notion. And I felt like I could have kept going! I tossed in a few hills for good measure, and I'm so happy to say that those once challenging hills are still work, but getting easier. I might have to start finding some newer, bigger hills now! As I ran I tried to stay steady and not let my legs go too fast. I might have been running in Pre's honor, but let's face it - I'll never have the speed that he did. That's just a plain, simple fact! The whole run just felt calm. I thought about smiling at his mom and her smiling back at me. I thought of accidentally meeting his older sister and how inspirational she was to me when she told me to just go do my best and that he would be running with me every step of my race (which I then PR'd!). I thought about meeting his younger sister and the unexpected flowing of tears, which led to me crying on her shoulder. I will never meet my hero, but I feel like I've gotten just about as close as I can! I visit his rock where he died quite often. Just last month I spent at least a half hour or more just sitting with him at his grave talking about how cool he is and why he inspires me so much. For 5 miles I felt happy, proud, inspired, calm. Steve Prefontaine is THE reason I decided to branch out from just the 2 5Ks I initially signed up for. He is the reason I knew that I could be a runner with a lot of hard work. He is pretty much The Man! Thanks Pre!
It was still warm, and actually kind of humid - I think it had lowered to about 77° at that point. But that was much more bearable. As I ran the sun disappeared and I was very happy about that! This run wasn't just about surviving the heat. Again this run was one I did in honor of Pre. Not WITH him like I tend to do, but just in his honor and memory. Yesterday was the anniversary of my running idol's death in 1975. It wouldn't be like me to not spend a few miles alone trying to do my very best while thinking of how great he was and how he has inspired so many of us. (Did you know my mom saw Pre run? Yeah, she reminds me every day.)
|Me and Linda Prefontaine|