Because she'd had an extraordinarily stressful and exhausting week, Diane wisely opted out of running, which meant that it was just Jeff, Cary, and I for our running and gabbing session. We started at 5:00 am, while Karen, Julia, and Andi started at 5:30, and Brian was somewhere in-between, as he was on water duty. It was fun to run into the others throughout the route, and one of the new roads that we've been running on for nearly a year now finally has working streetlights, so that was really exciting, to be able to see where we were going.
But it was early, too early, when I started to feel fatigued - I think it was just past the 6 mile mark, which, when you are running 12 miles? That's not great. I will say that in looking at my Garmin stats now, I can see that our speediest miles were 3 through 8, which probably accounts for the early fatigue, but oh boy, it got rough, especially in the last couple of miles. Of course those were when we had some short but significant little hills to get up, and that made things seem worse. Jeff was also wearing out, but thankfully Cary was the little engine who could, and she not only kept going but kept encouraging us to move forward, and we all finished the run together, despite my telling them at one point to go on ahead and leave me - I wasn't being (too) dramatic, I just didn't want to hold them back. Jeff joked that he was afraid I'd lie down on the sidewalk and freeze to death, but that didn't sound too bad, actually.
Coming into this run, I had harbored thoughts that maybe our upcoming Houston half marathon would be easier for me than it's been in the past, but honestly, it's just plain hard for me to run 12 (or 13+) miles, and I need to remember that...because as this run showed me, it IS hard, but I can do it - no, it's not pretty, but I will finish.
After the run, we all changed and then went on to Blue Baker for our annual white elephant gift exchange. We have a $10 limit on our gifts, and while we do the thing where you can steal an opened gift or open a new one, no one ended up stealing this year - I think we all wanted to unwrap a present! Hijinks ensued, as you can imagine, and while I can't show all the pictures as some are a little risque, here's a taste of our fun:
Jimmy opened Logan's Run, because OF COURSE.
For the second year in a row, Jeff randomly selected a gift containing emojis, LOL. Also please note Jimmy photobombing in the background - I didn't notice this until I uploaded the pictures!
Diane needed help to reach for her gift...
Which turned out to be a belly bag!
Karen got some potty-talk items...
While CC opened another belly bag! Mason managed to sleep through our craziness, sweet baby.
The gift I choose had a card that read "for warmth and comfort after a long run" - freshly baked ciabatta bread slippers!
And they were my size, woohoo!
The gift Andi chose was the result of an inside joke, and I about died when she opened it - yes, that is a young teenage Shelley, on the beach, I'm sure on a sailing club camp out. Whenever I talk about growing up in the sailing club, Brian has the idea that we were part of a ritzy yacht club, which we weren't, but that doesn't stop him from saying YAAACHT CLUB in a Thurston Howell the Third voice every time.
There were even two membership cards, so of course I swiped one from Andi. I bet my original SJSC membership card is in a box around here somewhere...when I have more time, I'll have to dig it out.
I brought books for Logan and Mason, and look at Logan, following along as his mama reads to him! These Renegade babies are already so smart.
As usual, it was a fun morning and a great finish to our heavy-mileage training. Except for the actual race next month, it's going to be much easier from now on, whew!