Our little running group has been meeting weekly this summer as we train for our half-marathon in October!!
I'm really fond of this part of my week. This special time on "the trail", with kindred spirits , is a time I can focus only on me and my goals and the physical exertion it takes to add distance to our long runs. During this time, thinking about anything other than "getting this done" is pretty hard!
Besides the stress relief that our group runs have provided, they also have me appreciating the gorgeous weather we've had all summer for our training.
It's been pretty warm, even at the 5:30 a.m. times we gather, but definitely weather that makes running "doable" !! We've also observed many lovely sunrises and a mama deer with her babies and the river we run along and sooooo many other runners and walkers and cyclists.
Last Saturday, Joan (seen in the photo below) and Mary and I met to run/walk our goal run of 8 miles using intervals of 3 min. running and 1 min. walking. We are in a running interval at this moment...but I think I had to stop in order to take this photo, or else it would have been a tad blurred.
In this picture are Joan (on the left) and Mary (on the right). We were in a walking interval and were entering one of my favorite parts of the trail. I believe we'd already gone a little over 6 miles at this point.
We made our goal distance of 8 miles. I struggled with my run that day. Sometimes that just happens. I did all the "right" stuff to prepare. . .plenty of hydration (that includes taking in plenty of fluids the day before), I'd slept fairly well, I'd eaten correctly and I still struggled running the last few miles.
HOWEVER. . .I did it. We all did it!
Another favorite part of our weekly running sessions, has become meeting for coffee and conversation after our time on the trail.
We are developing some great relationships through our common interest of running.
Part of our training for our half marathon includes completing a 10K Run/Walk event. . . so the three of us signed up to do the Plaza 10K!!!
That is happening this Sunday!!!
It's the first such run for Joan and I.
And I'm getting jittery about doing it!!!
And I can't believe I am because our group has already covered that distance (6.2 miles), and more ,over several of our training runs. . . .
however, when I look at this "course map". . .well, I get jittery!!
We are planning on using the 3/1 interval approach, so we should be able to complete the run in a respectable "time", but I'm still jittery!!!
Actually. . .the "time" it takes me to complete the course isn't really my main goal. I just need to remember that I've dreamed of doing a 10K. . .and now I'm about ready to do it. I'm doing it with two great running buddies. . .and it's a FLAT course on the beautiful Country Club Plaza. . .and I want the "enjoyment" of the experience to be up front in my mind. . .AND it's gonna be COOL weather!!!!
In other words, my main goal is really the one I try to have in every run I do: Just Have Fun!!
Joan reminded me, in response to an email I'd sent out saying I was getting "jittery", that we need to remember that we are "so very lucky to have the good health to be able to do this". She's right. . . but I'm still #justalittlejittery. :)
I'm already thinking about what I will be needing bright and early on the morning of the run. . . . and that includes a few "running accessories" !!!
THE STONE RABBIT knows I'm a tad nervous , so he helped me gather some of my really important "must haves"!! He won't let me forget a thing!!
This is the belt I wear that has a "pocket" on it for holding important "stuff"!!! I put my ID in it, just in case I should fall over and be trampled by runners. . .someone would at least know who I am!! :)
This is one of my newest purchases! I used a birthday gift card for this flat-ish water bottle, complete with nylon "holder". I can put more "stuff" in the nifty zippered bag and my hand slips in the strap so I don't have to grip the bottle to hang on to it. This bottle holds 18 oz.. I have a smaller one my niece gave me on another birthday. It holds a lesser amount of water and I use it when the weather is cooler and I don't need to drink as much during a run.
There are all sorts of "hydration" bottles and belts for folks doing longer runs. . . this one works just great on the distances I go.
I always carry my PINK phone . . .whether in a "real race" or just when I'm out on the trail or neighborhood streets. I like to know I can get hold of someone if I need to , but I also use the recorded music that's in my play lists OR I can use an app that allows me to set intervals of running and walking times. . .and when it's time to "jog" or "walk" I hear this sweet voice in my ear telling me those things! :) The "voice" makes me feel like I'm not alone on those runs when I am alone!! :)
My Garmin watch is right at the top of my list of Favorite Running Accessories. It was a gift a couple of years ago from my husband. . .and I LOVE it! There's so much it can do, but right now, I mainly use it to watch the "distance" I run/walk, the "time" I've spent running/walking and my "pace" (speed) per mile (number of minutes it's taking me to run/walk a mile).
This information can sometimes make me panic....especially on those running outings that aren't going so well: "I've only gone a mile?" "Really. . .we have five more miles to go!!!" or "OMG. . I'm moving slower that a turtle!"
On the other hand. . .you can turn that watch info into positive news such as: "Wow!! We only have five more miles to go" or "We're half way there!" and "We can do it." It's easier to put a positive "spin" on those things when running with others . . I love my little running group. I'm betting we scare many a little wild critter in the wee hours of the morning with our laughs and chatter as we make our way along the trail!!
Those are the shoes I'm going to be wearing. I call them my Number Threes. I have two other pair of the same kind of shoes. The Number Ones have been retired to shoes I wear just for normal walking. They're worn to the point that if I run in them, my knees and calves will be achy the next day. My Number Twos are the ones that are starting to show wear, but I am still able to run in them very comfortably on the crushed chat trail where we do our long runs. These newest ones are still pretty and non-worn. I have been using them on shorter outings on asphalt and pavement. . .cuz our 10K and Half-Marathon will be on those type of conditions. They feel great and are ready to log 6.2 miles on Sunday at the 10K and 13.1 miles in our October Half-Marathon.
I have to wear special socks, too, because of a toe issue I was having!! Thanks to my socks and tying my shoes differently, my toe is dandy now!
I just had to toss this in today. . .don't ya love my PINK koozie? I just might carry a bottle of water with that on it for the Halloween Run we do the last weekend in October. . .or I just may use it when that "witchey mood" hits! Hmmmmm.....if I do that, I'll have it worn out before the Halloween run!!! :) Yes, I've been experiencing a lot of "witchey moods" lately! Thank goodness running helps to cure those. . .at least for awhile!!
So there you have it. . .another Pink Saturday post where I'm yammering about running!! I hope I am able to take some pictures of our first 10K cuz if I do. . .you'll get to see them!! ha ha!!
I also hope you take the time to visit Beverly's blog, HOW SWEET THE SOUND. If you do, you'll find a lot of other bloggers who are sharing their PINKS this week!!
Happy Pink Saturday!!