I know, I know.....I'm boring you spit-less with all of my blog posts about RUNNING!!! :) Well, I just can't help it. . .I'm excited about this new chapter in my life! So . . .yes, this one is about running AGAIN!!
When I started running, a little over three years ago, I had one goal. . .to totally run a 5K race. Since I had never been a runner, that was a pretty big goal. . .and an even bigger one since I was knocking on the door of turning 63.
I used a free on-line running plan as my guide (Couch to 5-K Running Plan), and over the course of a few weeks, I went from being a walker to being a runner. . .and, yes, I was able to totally run the distance of that first 5K. . . and I was officially hooked.
During that first summer of running, and even the following two, I'd pretty much been a late afternoon to an evening runner. . . mainly because I am not known for being a "morning person". I'd rather wait til the day was starting to fade, then hit the streets and do my running. And, yes, it would be several degrees warmer at that time, than if I'd just gotten out early in the morning, but I would have rather dealt with that than working out early in the day.
That attitude about running time changed this year, thanks to this group of ladies and our decision to "run a half marathon"!!
L to R: Johnna, Linda, Mary, Joan and me (Dana)
I will be writing another time a post that really addresses, in more detail (whether you want to more details or not!! :) the various aspects of training for this distance. However, today, I just want to THANK them for making me realize it's so much better to run early in the morning. . .especially on the weekends as we do our "long runs".
Not only is it considerably cooler at 5:30 or 6:00 a.m., but. . .
This was our view one morning as we watched a storm that was heading our way. . . by the time our run was over the clouds had disappeared!
I have seen more sunrises over the last few months than I ever have in my life. . .and that vision alone, while out there running on a trail with other determined souls, is enough to make your heart soar and fill with gratitude.
Seriously. . .could there be too many other sights as glorious as this PINKISH sunrise?
Last Saturday, we met at our usual 5:30 a.m. time. . . only to realize how much darker the sky was starting to be at that time. Fortunately, the beginning of our trail has a few "lights" (we are in the big city), so we were able to forge ahead with our goal run .
This is a pretty fuzzy shot, but I wanted to capture this moment as it was the beginning of a very important run. . .8 miles. . . our longest yet. . . in the dark for the first few minutes !!
Here we are after accomplishing our goal...8 miles!!
I am not shy about asking folks at the trail if they'd take our picture. . . of course, I don't stop them if they're running or riding a bike. . . I try to look for folks who look exhausted like us and I'll know they've finished their trail work.
I think just about everyone I've asked is a runner or walker and when I jabber about what we had just done and how we're training for the KC Marathon 1/2. . .well, they understand what a big deal it is!! The lady who took this photo (and her running buddy) told us they are also doing the same run in October!!
I've even started to be more aware of the sky, even when I walk our grand dog. The other day, I saw a HUGE hawk swooping around ahead of us. . .going from tree to tree. When we headed down this street, there was that bird, perched on a roof top!!
This photo is also fuzzy and doesn't do justice to his size, but I'm here to tell you he was a HUGE one!!
This photo was taken as I headed out to do one of my late day runs in our neighborhood. I still like running in the early evening. . .just ahead of the sun as it totally goes down.
This morning, I met Joan at the nearby trail. We waited until 6:00 a.m. today. Our goal was to run/walk 6 miles. Last Saturday, we ran/walked our 8 miles, but used intervals of 3 min. running and 2 min. walking. Today. . .we reduced our distance and also reduced our walking breaks to 1 min. each. We were very pleased with our time to complete that run!! In September, she and I and one more member of the running group ladies are going to do our first official 10K Run (6.2 miles) !! I know we are capable of doing it because we've done that distance four times now. . .and today we did it faster!! :)
My dream has been to totally run a 10K. . .and maybe one day I will...but this time, I'll be thrilled to complete it doing our run/walk approach cuz that's still a huge challenge for me.
Anyway, Joan and I got our 6 miles in this morning just before the rain started!!
This weekend is the Susan G. Komen 5K Run/Walk in Kansas City. I am doing this with another buddy... one whom I haven't quite convinced that she needs to start running!! However, she is a VERY fast walker, so we are going to walk the 5K distance, and I hope I can keep up with her !
We each have very dear women in our lives who have battled breast cancer. . .and we are walking for them.
These were the balloons outside of "packet pickup" yesterday.
THE STONE RABBIT says he's inspired by our friends and family members who are such strong women in their battle against breast cancer. He hopes they know that we love them and keep them in our prayers and that the SKY'S THE LIMIT for them!!
I even bought some great PINK running socks to wear. . .and my buddy and I will be wearing shirts with the names of those that we are honoring during our walk. Patty, Janet, and Michelle. . . .your names are on my shirt!! Love you!
Please visit Beverly of HOW SWEET THE SOUND to see a long list of other bloggers who are ready to share their PINKS with you this week!