A year ago tomorrow, four other ladies and I started a nearly four month running journey! We had signed up to participate in the Half Marathon portion of the Waddell-Reed Kansas City Marathon to be held in October. So we came up with a "running plan" that would slowly build us up to be able to run/walk 13.1 miles, we found a trail. . . and we started our weekly gatherings to do our "long runs"!!
On June 22, 2013, we ran/walked four miles. . .and on Oct. 19, 2013, we ran our half!! It was the first such race for two of us. . .Joan and I. . .and we both felt it was one of the "funnest" things we'd ever done!!
SOOOOO. . .we signed up to run the same half marathon this October and thus. . . . our journey begins. . . again!!
While our first "official training run" begins tomorrow, some of us have been able to meet now and then and run this spring.
Joan and I ran/walked on our local Bass Pro Trail a couple of weeks ago. . . she's very used to me taking lots and lots of photos to document our running experiences.
On that morning we were able to do 6 miles using intervals of 3 min. running and 2 min. walking.
This year I have a phone that allows me to take "selfies", so we documented that we actually did 6 miles!!
One of the great parts about spending so much time on our "long" weekly runs is that we almost always have sweet little critters cheering us on!!
On this particular day, our goal was to run 5 miles. We had hit the 2 1/2 mile point on the trail and turned around to go back . . . just as the rain started!! Thankfully, we'd decided to tie our jackets around our waists cuz they came in handy! Actually, of all of the many, many weekends we trained together last year, we only were rained on once. If it's warm and not a brutal downpour, it's really fun to run in the rain. . .well, for a short distance! :)
Left to right: me, Joan, Linda
Karen (see the PINK arrow pointing to her!!) wasn't able to do the half last year. . .but she is this year!! She's a very good runner, as demonstrated in her performance at this year's local Corporate Challenge (track and field) !! In this photo, you see her division getting ready to run the One Mile event. Her time for the run was 10 min. and 20 sec. which put her in fourth place!
I was able to watch that evening and found it to be really fun!! It's a totally different approach to running than what I've experienced so far in just distance running of mainly 5Ks and it's another example of how running can be enjoyed at any age. These ladies are in the 65 and over group. . .with the first place winner coming in at 7 min. 52 seconds!!! Wow. . .
As I said, one of the things I love about running is how folks of all ages come together to run . . .and support each other.
This year, one of my goals was to "branch out" even a bit more with my running experiences. When I first started running in July 2010, I did it on my own. . .slogging around our neighborhood, slowly building up until I could totally run 3.1 miles. The only time I ran with others was when I'd show up for a local 5K event.
I pretty much continued running solo until our little group of ladies ( 6 of us) banded together last spring to train for the half. That experience opened my eyes to the importance of including group runs in my running life . Not only do they make the time go by faster, but you are with kindred spirits who love (well, mostly love) running as much as you do. You have folks who you can talk to about everything running related and who love to talk about everything running related. Who don't roll their eyes or have their eyes fog over from boredom when you are excited about something and are babbling away! :)
I love running with our group of ladies who are all close to the same age (except one and she's busy with school and hasn't been able to run with us lately), but recently I've done something that four years ago I would never have dreamed I could do. I joined in with a group of runners one evening a week to just "run".
It was humbling in many ways. I was old enough to be the mother or grandmother to almost everyone of them. They took off like gazelles while I brought up the back of the back, BUT I found this experience to be something else I was missing. . .to be with the young folks. They amaze me in their abilities to run with ease and grace and I love being able to see that type of running from which I draw more inspiration. . .and yet it just makes me wish even more that I'd "found" running when I was young instead of when I was 63. Two of the other ladies in our group have now attended a run with them and also agree that it's a great place to be! Another one is also going to include those mid week runs with the young folks as part of their "training" for the half. So now. . .I won't the only old lady in the group!! :) And, actually, I think maybe we might serve as inspiration to them . . . so maybe they won't quit running as they age, but instead continue to enjoy it!!
The only downside about that particular group is that it meets before the sun is totally down and it's HOT out there on the trail. However, we adjust our running. . .we slow down, we do run/walk intervals and we just realize our goals for that night are not the same as they are when we meet before the sun is up and it's cool. And actually, running a bit in the heat is pretty good conditioning as long as we are careful and well hydrated.
I know. . .I'm hopping all over the place here, but I just had to share another experience I got Karen and I into the night after she ran the mile in the Corporate Challenge. It was June 4 and that was National Running Day. The young lady who is in charge of the running group I just told you about told shared info about an event that was going to be held at a local park to celebrate the special day!!! We would get a shirt and free food and there would be prizes. . . .but first we would go on a group run!!!
Karen and I hung out at the back of the pack again (there were a lot of folks there who just walked the trail so we weren't totally at the back that night! :). We ran the first two miles, found the water station then turned around to head back to the park. It was a pretty humid evening, so we just did run/walk intervals back to the park.
There were a few other "older runners" in attendance, but the group was definitely made up of mostly younger folks. There were also several parents who had brought their kids to participate in National Running Day, too!!
It was a great time . . .another experience that brought so many folks of varied backgrounds, ages and ability levels together to celebrate running!!
Now back to the point of this post, tomorrow we start our "official training" for the half marathon in October!!! Those weekend mornings on the trail will be filled with sweat, laughter, huffing and puffing, and challenges. The time will fly by and in the end, we will have reached our running goals, but more importantly, our friendships will have deepened .
THE STONE RABBIT wanted you to see the new running shoes I recently purchased. I like gray. . .they look dirty from day one!! :) I also bought some pepper spray . . .in a PINK canister. . .just in case!!
I will end with this little picture. It really speaks to our running journey, but it also applies to whatever journey we are experiencing in our lives.
We gain our strength from the journey.
Yes we do.
Please visit Beverly's blog HOW SWEET THE SOUND!! You will find a lot of other bloggers who will be ready to share their PINKS with you this week!!