Every Mile Together - Part One
I think we've both been hemming and hawing about getting a blog post up about all of our experiences in completing the Landrun Double. Not because we haven't wanted to share all of the cool stories and pictures, but because I think we both really wanted to feel the feeling of completion, which was followed quickly by intense feelings of abolition. It's all we've been able to talk about for the last two weeks, to each other, to others. Those Mid-South red dirt roads find a way to worm into your soul and fester in the most delicious and painful way.
Thursday afternoon we arrived into Stillwater full of excitement, and despite our horrible attempt at training through winter. We both had chosen to approach the event with an "it is what it is" attitude after our nothing short of brutal winter and a few rounds of illness in our home. Based on conversation with others it sounds like that was what everyone else was dealing with as well. Nonetheless, we were excited to get settled in and down to the shop to see everyone. And even made it out to scout some of the roads we had ridden at the registration party months before. We couldn't even believe it, the roads were dusty, dry as a bone.
Thursday evening was definitely nothing short of a big family reunion which is what Landrun always feels like. We were able to make it out to dinner that evening with some friends David & Amy (give them a follow, they have the coolest Insta!) we met at the Registration party in November who we had grown a friendship with all winter long through instagram as well as our Orange Mud Dirt Unit group. They are seriously the coolest, kindest and most supportive people and we literally left Stillwater missing them. Coming out of winter and not seeing your 'bike fam' for months, you're always greeted with a barrage of hugs. Landrun is 90% hugs, so many hugs.
So we had a good helping of Pasta at Da Vinci's, our new favorite place in Stillwater to eat (except for fuzzy's) and headed back to get settled in and go to sleep before our first big day
Friday Morning went relatively smooth, we were able to get around without too much of a rush as we'd made sure we were up in plenty of time. The starting line was buzzing and there were a lot of familiar faces which was such a comfort as we started our day.
As we got started we really paced well, not too hard but enough to keep warm. There seriously wasn't a cloud in the sky and that was welcomed considering our training was mostly done in the gym or on the trainer because weather was so wishy-washy. The first two aid-stations came and went pretty easily, and as we neared the third I could feel some doubt creeping in. I hadn't made it over 13 miles through my training cycle, and quincy hadn't made it over 16. As we approached mile 15 I took note that I wasn't having any hitches in my giddyup as I had predicted I might and ate my fair share of salty potatoes and bacon (ZOMGGG). Originally we had planned to run our own races, meeting up occasionally at every or every other aid station (which were every 5 miles and SO convenient). But because of Quincy's knee issues, and my under-trained entire body we decided to run every mile together before we even got started. By mile 15 Quincy's knee was barking. Downhills hurt, uphills hurt, nothing really improved for him from here which he anticipated.
I felt really great all the way through mile 20 really and that was when my feet just really hit their wall. My legs never really ran out of juice, but the foot and shin pain from the impact really took it's toll on my energy. I walked, we walked A LOT. We've been asked how we did it, and that is the answer. The run we knew would be survival, and that as we had reminded ourselves through our training that "iron sharpens iron". And generally we kept a good cadence, playing cat and mouse the rest of the day with plenty of smiles.
As we approached what felt like the outskirts of town we felt renewed briefly before re-realizing how it takes so much more time to cover ground on foot vs. tire. At that point we both felt like we were barely moving. And even with this insane mood boost as we hit pavement provided by the group ride rolling out of town (YOU GUYS YOU MADE ME CRY) we were still moving quite slow. We finally hit the main drag and laughed at the irony of a sign "small engine repair here" it read. Quincy joked "do you need your small engine repaired?", I replied "hell yes".
Stupidly we had started the race without routes, and as we got into town we didn't really know where we had to turn in. It's a lot more clear when you aren't almost last, haha. We had a few people behind us for sure and we really wanted to make sure we stayed ahead of them mentally. Finally we found our way and forced our feet to run the last mile.
It's kind of funny, everyone talks about the Bobby hug. It's certainly what we came for. But it's really that that hug is the start of what feels like the most supported day of your life. Your whole bike fam is waiting for you. I've never been more taken care of. From the moment we walked away from bobby with our hearts souring we were fawned over, told how amazing we are, handed beers, chocolate milks and more hugs than we can count. We were both exhausted, starving etc; but it only took a few beats to get over the roughness of the day to feel lifted up by our family so high that the next day seemed feasible and real....at least momentarily.
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