For the last few weeks I have had great Sunday runs. While I was here in town, I hooked up with various folks to get about 8 miles in the middle of my 17(ish) mile training runs that were quite a bit faster than I have been doing (6:19-6:24 the first week and 6:20ish to 6:30ish the second week). I went up to visit my uncles last weekend, and wanted to get a good workout in.

My uncles live, appropriately enough, 17 miles apart. Last year, I missed a turn and it wound up being a 28 mile run (which I ran 27 of), but this year I made sure I knew which direction I was going. The fun part comes in with the motivation to run faster; my girlfriend was also doing her long run.

I started running 20 minutes before my girlfriend, and she was starting 5 miles ahead of me. The idea is that I would run around my marathon pace and catch her before reaching my uncle on the far end. My mother would have water at the 5 mile mark and every 4 miles after that.

I caught up to my mother at the 5 mile, and was running around 6:50 pace. She told me that she had dropped off my girlfriend another mile up the road and then come back. So, I start to worry that maybe I will not catch her; she now had (about) a 15 minute head start on me, and an extra mile from what I was expecting.

After 24 minutes, I glanced down at my watch, and said to myself, “I should be seeing mom in 2 to 4 minutes; probably closer to 2 since I have picked up the pace a little.” As I looked at my watch, she honked her horn at me; I had picked the pace up to 6 minute miles. I was about 5 minutes behind at this point.

It took me 1 hour, 17 minutes, and 30 seconds to catch up to my girlfriend. I came up on her shoulder, and told her that I had a question for her. “Will you marry me?” Of course, her response was, “Are you serious?”, but once I said that I was serious she got really excited. She was completely surprised.

About a mile before I caught her, I grabbed the ring out of my mother’s car and kept it in a fanny pack, so that I would have it when I caught her up. I took it out of the fanny pack before catching up to her, and opened the case to reseat the ring. Of course, it bounced down the road (Gah!). I kept the ring box steady until I caught her. It near broke my heart when she asked if she could try it on and I had to say, “No.” I knew the ring would be too small. She only almost ran into two ditches on our jog up to the next 4 mile point where the water and the car were waiting for us.

We left the ring in the car, and I took off back at my 6:50ish pace for the last 4 miles. I considered turning back at the end of my uncles road and then running in with my fiance, but my foot was aching so I just continued on. The run wound up being about an hour and 50 minutes; I felt quite good. My fiance may have been hurting from her 11 mile run, but she was floating way up on cloud 9 and would have had no idea if she was.

What a great training run.