Our friend Mark Kohler took this shot just before the finish line of the Mistletoe Half Marathon in Winston-Salem this morning.
She is so fit right now that even what I thought was a struggling day for her (leg wise), you just tell her what to do and she does it. Okay, pick it up, we've got 5K to go. Tuck in behind going into this headwind. Go get that guy in the black gloves.
This was Kristen at the 10K.
Not looking so good and these were her words. She said post-race, I knew he was taking my picture so I tried to smile. That was all I had.
Sadly, as the picture grimly confirms, she never had that loose feeling, or if it was there, only from about mile five to mile six and you can see in the picture it had come and quickly gone bye bye. The mile following this photo was close to eight minutes and I thought to myself, I'm gonna to have to get creative if this is the direction that we are going with the splits. But she regrouped, maintained pace through the Wake Forest campus, and at 10 miles did exactly what we had planned--picked it up. As my buddy Thomas joined us for half a mile, I could tell my wife was looking down at the metaphorical dirty clothes. You know the ones at the bottom of the hurt locker that you don't even really want to pick up because no good can come of it, they are beyond the hopes of the washing machine, so you usually just avoid them. My wife describes the sensation another way, as that bloody taste when you spit. Yep, that's lactic acid creeping up and over the shoulders. When a stout time goal is starring you in the face, best to hunker down and get to the finish line of what you started because that's the fastest way to the end of the pain.
So she did--1:35:29.