All By Myself & Running for Sherry

All By Myself & Running for Sherry

Usually I look forward to 20 mile runs… I don’t do them often- just in a marathon training cycle so it is sort of an extra treat.  If you like long distance running you know what I mean.  The night before a long run I get my fuel belt ready and make sure my watch and ipod are charged.  I get my clothes and shoes laid out and check the weather a bazillion times on my iphone. Well, last night I went through my usual routine but I just wasn’t feeling it.  I knew it was going to be cold and I would be alone.

I also came across this article in Runner’s World about a woman named Sherry Arnold in Montana.  The article immediately caught my eye because I had an aunt I never knew named Sherry Arnold. (She died a few days after she was born.) So I read the article and was very moved.  Basically, Sherry went for a run on the morning of January 7th and never came home.  She was abducted about a mile from her home and killed.  This morning, all over the country, runners were planning a virtual run in memory of Sherry.  I cannot imagine what her family has gone through this past month.   My thoughts and prayers are with Sherry’s family.

How often do I run by myself?  Honestly, I’d say I run with others for the majority of my runs but when they have different training goals and races it makes it a little more difficult.  Sometimes I have to go by myself.  I make an effort to be safety conscience but we live in a crazy world and there are psychos out there… So after reading this article I wasn’t exactly pumped about running alone for 3 hours. 

When I got up I looked at the weather- 20 degrees. And WIND!! Ughhhh. Not ideal running weather but this was my available time to run and I needed to get it done.  So I dressed warm and headed out!  Within the first 2 minutes I was so tempted to turn around. The wind was awful.  I wondered if I should go to the gym and just do it on the treadmill.  (You know it’s bad when a treadmill sounds a little appealing…) The most I have ever done on a treadmill at one time is 10 miles and I’m not really in a treadmill training mind frame right now.  I told myself it would get better and I needed to stick it out.

The first 12 miles were tough. I ran up and down several hills and the cold wind was harsh.  It kept blowing out my ear phones.  That was just plain annoying! Anytime I took my gloves off to fix them my fingers went numb. I had to remind myself a few times that I actually like running and this was supposed to be fun.  Sometimes running just isn’t fun. Did I actually just say that?

I stashed a water bottle behind a tree on the trail so that took care of two of my water stops.  I also stopped once at Harp’s (local grocery store) for water around mile 14.  I had two GU’s (mile 7 &15).  After my last GU I actually started to feel a lot better.  I picked up my pace a little and it felt good so I decided to make it 21 miles.  Two months ago during my Houston training I ran 21 at a 7:49 min pace and I challenged myself to do the same thing today.  The weather and elevation were much more of a challenge today than they were two months ago.  I needed a goal and something to help motivate me to finish strong today.


Mile 1- 8:27
Mile 2- 8:12
Mile 3- 7:51
Mile 4- 7:56
Mile 5- 7:49
Mile 6- 7:51
Mile 7- 7:59
Mile 8- 7:51
Mile 9- 7:51
Mile 10- 8:08
Mile 11- 7:52
Mile12- 8:01
Mile 13- 7:45
Mile 14- 7:55
Mile 15- 7:53
Mile 16- 7:47
Mile 17- 7:34
Mile 18- 7:33
Mile 19- 7:27
Mile 20- 7:19
Mile 21- 7:16
Mile 21.2- 1:15 (6:14 avg. pace)
I finished 21.2 miles in 2:45:41. I averaged 7:49. (I added the .2 because at 21 miles I had only averaged a 7:50.  I had to kick it up a notch for .2 to take off a second but so worth it!)

As soon as I walked in the door the kids were so happy to see me.  Of course, Ashton immediately wanted me and was ready for me to feed him.  That boy!

Glad to be done!

I am thankful I was able to get in today’s long run.  I am especially thankful for a husband who is willing and able to care for all the kids so I can do this. John took them all to get donuts and he drove a route that he thought they might see me running.  I didn’t see him.  If I would have I am pretty sure I would have been tempted to jump in the van and call it a day!

~ Tia

9 thoughts on “All By Myself & Running for Sherry

  1. AWESOME!!! Isn’t it wonderful to see all the people running for Sherry? Your paces always stagger me! Cold I can work out but wind makes it so hard. No, it’s not always fun, but it always is worth it when you see it through!

  2. That’s a hardcore run in the cold and wind, and I’m always so inspired by your pace! Nice work, and what a great way to honor Sherry. Love the picture of your sweet boy!

  3. Holy Cow Tia!! you are ONE TOUGH COOKIE!! I wish you didnt’ live so far away b/c we could run together! well….not sure I would be running 21 miles at that pace, but we could do other runs together! ha ha…
    and p.s HOW did I never have your blog on my side bar? no wonder I never kept up with you, forgive me! Its on there now, so watch out! stalker here I come! ha ha

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