Today was our 14 mile long run. It is the farthest either Christian or I have ever run before at one time. I know the mileage just goes up from here, and the long runs just get longer, but this was kind of that turning point where we are both on even playing ground. We decided to run 3 different routes today to make up our 14 miles, a 6 miler, a 5 miler and a 3 miler. As we started the first 6 miles, and we both felt great. Christian began to inch ahead and at about 2 1/2 miles I thought, if he just keeps going I'll never catch up and I don't want to feel defeated for the next 12 miles. So, I did the one thing I said I'd never do: "Christian, wait up!" Now let me digress a moment:
When Christian and I first began training and running together, to build up our mileage, all too often I was in the zone. I just got my pace going and went. For the most part Christian was right by my side, but there were several instances were I was apparently running too fast and I would hear: "Mom, wait up!" or "Mom, slow down!" or "Mom, you're running too fast!" And, being a good mother and wanting my son to remain motivated (since this was just the beginning) I would slow down and run at his pace. I figured that I have been running for many more years than he has, so I am here to help him and we are doing this together. There were a couple times that he would run ahead, but I would make sure I would catch up because the last thing I was going to do was let my son have the satisfaction that he was running faster than me and I can't keep up. I mean, he might think I am getting old or something. Nope, I will never ask him to slow down....or so I thought.
So, today, I asked. I needed the companionship to get started. He waited for me, we ran together, he turns to me and says, "Mom, I was in the Zone." Ugh - the punch to the stomach, the drop of the heart, I took him out of the zone. We all want to be in the zone, its the best place a runner can be, after the finish line of course (or the food tent after the finish line - but that's another post).
Over the past few weeks, Christian has definitely began to develop into a much stronger runner than I am. I am going to link it to youth, I mean he is 20 years my junior. I'm glad he is running better. He should, and I don't want to be the one to hold him back. Yes, I really want us to cross that finish line together, but more than that I want him to discover all he can do and then blow us all away.
Christian continued to run ahead and at mile 9, he slowed again, seeing I was quite a bit behind him. I still had a good pace, mind you, he is just better. I told him to go, I was fine, we only have 5 miles left and I can do it. He said he was going to run fast and I said good and good luck. He took off and ended up finishing 6 minutes before me. I really could have used him the last mile as I had to do a lot of self talk to bring it home and from what he said, he felt the same way about me.
On the way inside, I told him he just completed his first half marathon (and then some). Yep, it was a good run. He was in the Zone.