Saturday, September 22, 2012

Training recap – September 17-22

Oh, that race was a BLAST.  I’ve been on a high all week.  I even turned my finisher medal into my keychain charm.  But I was ready for a break – no thinking about training, about mile counts, about remembering to take my antihistamines at night so I could run the next day.

The plan was:  absolutely nothing.

The reality: 

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – ZILCH
I started the week in rest mode – at least for exercise, because everything else (aka work) was nuts.  I wasn’t nearly as sore as I thought I would be (gee, could I have run faster on Sunday?  Guess I’ll have to do another and find out, huh?), just a bit of tightness in the quads going down stairs.  By Tuesday it had nearly dissipated and Wednesday I felt completely normal.  And I was so very much done with resting.

Thursday – 3.0 miles, 28:14
By now I desperately needed to run.  But I realized on the way over that (a) I still don’t have the eating-in-the-afternoon-for-an-evening-run thing organized and (b) I’d been giving my body a break from the antihistamines that keep me from itching on a run.  So… this was going to be interesting.

I decided to keep the pace easy, so as not to trigger the itchies, and just got going.  It felt pretty good – it actually felt odd, like my body was made of stiff parts with no give, and clompy, as though I’d forgotten how to run.  But I’m getting used to this feeling being my “oh, you took a few days off? Silly you” feeling and am gaining confidence to stick to it with the hope that it will dissipate.  Which it did, pretty shortly.

But here’s the thing – what feels like an easy pace now has dropped to 9:15-9:30 miles.  Again, when did this happen???  Yet another reset for my head this year (there’s been a LOT of those – I love it, but I know intellectually this can’t continue forever).  Got a tiny bit of itchies on my legs about 2.5 miles in, but I walked for a bit and it faded quickly, so then I finished out the 3 miles and walked in the last few hundred yards.  That 2.5 mile point is also when my body decided it was hungry.  And I mean HUNGRY.  I found myself craving french fries as I walked back to the car… and since there were 45 minutes until the boy was done with his practice, I jetted out to grab burgers, fries and a chocolate milkshake.  It was SO YUMMY – not at all healthy, not at all good nutrition, but a nice treat all around.  And I TOTALLY made the boy’s day when he got to the car and saw a sack with burgers and fries – “oh, Mom, I LOVE YOU!!!” “You love me anyway.”  “Yeah, I love you more. Nom nom nom

Saturday – 3.16 miles, 34:38
Back at it with the Math Teacher.  She was cranking on speed and feeling good!  Me, I was pretty tired (read, nutty week at work) and ran out of steam as we approached the 3 mile split.  I told her I was stopping when my watch chirped, and she went all Coach on me – “oh, no you’re not!  We’re making it to the finish!  Let’s go, step it up, woman!”  I truly think she enjoyed it, with a lot of schaudenfraudic glee.  She was also talking about the next run, suggesting a local race in early November.  I may have to commit to that – she did, after all, indulge me on You Go Girl, least I can do is repay the indulgence.  We might even get our kids to run that one too – if we can fit it around their swim training.  Lots to determine in the next several days.

Planned for this week:
If – big “if” – I commit to the Turn Back the Clock run, I need to start training for that – it’s six weeks away.  So this weekend’s task is to find an appropriate 6-week training schedule toward a … 5K? 10K? I suppose I also have to decide what distance to run, and whether anyone (ie son, hubby) intends to join me.  So… likely a few short easy runs and some decisions.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Race recap: You Go Girl!

Third time’s the charm – what a blast!  All the anticipation and training paid off, and I crushed my break-2:20 goal with a  2:11:50.  And so many other sweet bits to the weekend.

PACKET PICKUP – I’ve actually been planning this day for awhile now.  Little girl and I had haircuts early in the morning, then headed to Tacoma for pickup and lunch at her fave place – Olive Garden.  It was a sweet morning.  I’ve mourned my son’s growing up (seventh grade this year was harder than his first days of childcare, no joke) but almost overlooked my daughter’s transitions as she moves to third grade.  She’s just – more herself.  She’s always been incredibly talkative, but her conversations have a new depth. Her mannerisms are older. Spending a morning with her with minor, shared distractions (can’t get to no distractions, that’s just about impossible with us) was sheer joy.

Our morning started early, as it usually does on haircut days.  Starbucks is a must, and carefully planned into our timing.  Haircuts are always fun – since my head is under the dryer I have no idea what she and Miss Diane are talking about, but what is clear is that she’s motoring on and Diane’s cracking up. 

All done up, we headed toward Tacoma; got a little turned around, but found the place (I need to remember, it’s by UWT. how hard could it be? I’ve spent enough time in my life on that campus).  Nice little expo, got all our goodies.  Little girl took care of her own packet, thankyouverymuch, then helped me carry the additional six bags around.  (Really, I didn’t intend to play packet packhorse this year.  But six is way better than the twenty or so I had last year.)

One of the thing I love about this race is running into friends all over.  Coordinated an impromptu get-together with two of my besties-with-daughters; caught up with T while S and Little Girl played in the plaza, then found C and K (they got lost too, it wasn’t just me!) and we headed back into the expo.  Little Girl took S and K to get their packets (wow! Big girls taking care of themselves) while T and C did their own packet-packhorse duty.  Once all the packets were in hand and daughters were securely reunited with mothers, Little Girl and I took off for our lunch date.  Got lost (again! Seriously, I’m not so directionally-challenged as all this may lead you to believe), got sweet parking, carbed up while we chatted.  We definitely got our money’s worth – never-ending pasta bowl plus kids-eat-free coupon made for a lovely, HUGE lunch.  And truly, this child knows how to carbo-load: Fettucine alfredo and mashed potatoes with chocolate milk.  Kid’s definitely an endurance athlete.

Got home, sorted through packets to pull out my own stuff, laid out gear, confirmed my ride, showed D where to park for the finish line, found camera, munched potato chips, craved chocolate cake, found gels, took nap, ate pasta leftovers for dinner (see? Definitely got money’s worth) with wine for pre-race dinner.  Spent.

RACE DAY – wasn’t an early wake-up by any stretch, but it was hard to get out of bed.  I eventually convinced myself that it was time, by golly, and thankfully all that laying-out-of-gear made for a no-brainer morning.  The only thing that required thought was to go to the pantry and choose a jam for my PB & J (the apricot jam I opened earlier this week hadn’t gelled – so it’s more aptly a lovely dessert sauce, not for sandwiches). 

My darling husband drove me to get a mocha and meet up with the Math Teacher and her daughter, Miss M, who chauffeured me to the start line after a pit stop back at their house for an errant hat.  Easy parking, and early enough that there was no line for the potties (yea!!!).  Then it was time to set about finding our buds, especially A, the one whose chip and bib I was holding!  As sometimes happens, as if by magic, our group began to coalesce, introductions were made, and soon it was time to line up.  A and I took our place in front of the 2:20 pacer – her foot has been hurting, so she chose to start back at my super-slow-for-her pace (thank you, A!).

Mile 1: 9:07 -  love the downhill start, it felt soooo easy!  But we knew we were moving out too fast… but it’s downhill, it’s easy, what can we do?  A’s foot felt good and she seemed quite happy to pace with me, so we settled into our rhythm.

Mile 2: 9:44 – Miss M caught up with us right before the first mile marker, having left her mother in the dust.  She settled in with our pace and we chatted about hair, boys, stuff…  Still moving strong, out to the first turnaround with another downhill respite.

Mile 3: 10:03 – The long uphill slog – I just kept chatting, and hoping not to horridly annoy everyone not involved in our conversation (yes, I’m THAT runner, I distract myself and everyone else with all my mindless chatter).  At one point the 2:20 pacer played traffic cop to let a local resident get her car out of the stream of runners; one person snarled “well, I’m  not stopping!” and she and her cohorts barreled in front of the car.  Seriously???  Holding up for ten seconds is going to blow your time goal in the third mile?  Perspective, people!  Races run on the goodwill of the folks we’re displacing and annoying – lacking respect for that just gets our races canceled.  And I like this one too much to get it canceled. (stepping off soapbox now…)

Mile 4: 10:17 – So you hit a water station right before the third mile marker, turn a corner, and are confronted with a steep hill worthy of San Francisco fame.  Holy heavens.  It’s four blocks STRAIGHT UP.  But, it’s only four blocks, and then you have a lovely stroll around gravel paths in a beautiful park.  This is my favorite part of the course – AFTER the four-blocks-straight-up part.  I started to get a side cramp and had to walk briefly, but powered through. 

Mile 5: 9:38 – what goes up, must come down… and the long, lovely downhill is a blast!  Passed the water station again, and this time took advantage of the pit stop opportunity (darn morning bladder).  A's foot was feeling better and speed was calling, so she kept going when I stopped, but Miss M waited for me (thanks, sweetie!).

Mile 6: 9:22 – More downhill.  Caught up with C, whose husband had run ahead.  We all ran together for this mile.  Miss M wanted to take off toward the finish, C was hurting a bit.  I worked on keeping a steady pace, making sure I didn’t lose sight of C.  Miss M sprinted a touch too early and was walking off a side ache when we caught her; I told her to pace C into the 10K finish, and off they went.  I almost blew off the water stop, for some reason I thought there was another one just over the hill, but realized they wouldn’t place them that close – so I stopped, choked down a gel and washed it down.  

Mile 7: 10:25 – My husband and son were waiting at the 10k/half fork, both with cameras.  Such a sweet surprise!  I hadn’t expected them until I was closer to the finish line.  But man, did it feel quiet as the bulk of runners peeled off toward the 10K finish.

Mile 8: 10:24 – Ah, now there comes the return pack.  The leaders started passing us – looking very determined.  I am amazed by their speed and strength.  Also, it’s just so fun to have people to cheer for as they pass you!  I do a lot of yelling encouragement toward others to stay out of my own head.

Mile 9: 9:36 – Still looking for all those people I knew were ahead of me – saw several, including Mel of Tall Mom fame, yea!  I recognized Mel’s shirt coming at me just behind the 1:50 pacer and shouted at her as loudly as I could (sorry, Mel, couldn’t resist!).  It was like a little celebrity sighting. J

Mile 10: 9:46 – It felt like the turnaround came quicker than last year – a pleasant surprise.  The volunteer at the cone was yelling, “You’ve got this!  Just a 5K to go and you’re done!”  I LOVED that!  Reframing the effort – and just what I needed.  I can knock out a 5K in my sleep on a bad day, and this was way better than many of the “bad days” I ran through this year.

Mile 11: 10:03 and Mile 12: 10:23 – felt good, but I was slowing down a bit.  I began counting footfalls, counting people ahead of me, trying to keep one foot in front of the other.

Mile 13: 10:11 – When the twelfth mile split chirped on my Garmin, I hit the wall. That last mile seemed sooooo long, and I just wanted to be DONE – a sentiment echoed by many of the other gals on the course near me!  I allowed myself one more walk, picked my spot, and started running again.  I tried to pick up a fellow runner as I caught them, encouraging them to join me in that last little push, but they just returned the encouragement and pushed me ahead.  I’m not yet at the point where I can pass gals at the end of the race without just a little bit of guilt.

As I hit the overpass on the last bit, I saw my son sitting on the jersey barrier with the camera.  I hollered his name, he jumped out of his skin – apparently I wasn’t quite yet expected!  He ran ahead playing papparazi, catching pictures of me with a huge grin on my face.  At the turn, my daughter jumped up and down yelling to me.  I called her out and she ran to join me, so we could run through the finish chute in our matchy-matchy skirts.  The picture of us crossing the finish line, holding hands, is one of my favorites ever.

Mel was sitting on the hill near the finish chute, chilling and watching folks kick it toward the line.  We chatted a bit, actually introduced ourselves IRL, but slowly my group seemed to camp out next to her spot.  Sorry if we crowded you a bit, sweetie, but it was fun to meet you!

We waited for the Little Girl’s race to get started.  My girl was so excited for her first race.  She lined up at the front, took off hard, and pounded up the hill.  When we saw her on the return she was still running hard, stuck her tongue out at her brother for a picture, and chased along.  I couldn’t quite figure how to get to her, but her brother had run with her all the way through the finish so he was able to coordinate everyone.  We took our leave and headed to the car.

On the ride home, the kids told me their funniest moment of the day, when the finish line announcer called out: “There’s a line at the Naked truck for free shirts…” whaaa???

overall place:
207 out of 487
division place:
45 out of 92
2:11:50    (Garmin read 2:09:33)


I didn’t even really think about crushing my goal – I’d recognized that at the turnaround.  I even allowed myself to think that 2:05 was within reach, and then shook that off – there is no reason to take a smashing success and in any way turn it toward a defeat.  I am super-happy with what I accomplished today, and for what it represents – the accomplishment over the summer of actually training, sticking to it, and following through on my stated goal.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Training recap – September 10-14

As Rafiki would say, “IT IS TIME!” 

The race is Sunday.  Oh. My. Heavens.

And yet at the same time – I’m so ready.  Tomorrow my girl and I go up to get our packets and have a girl day!  And then Sunday my family will be at the finish line when I cross, so my girl can run her 1K.

The plan was:  to run a couple or three times, keep it short at 2-4 miles per time, and just see what happens. 

The reality: 

Monday – 3.0 miles, 29:48
So where the heck did this come from?  Suddenly I’m super-nervous for the race Sunday.  Like, butterflies and weak knees nervous.  Is this really going to stick around all week?  Oh, golly.  So, when confronted by irrational anxiety, what better to do than get out an easy run?  Not sure this helped – my breathing was off, my effort felt rather too high for the pace, but it did feel good to stretch my legs.  Aaaand…. Another Monday run done.

I sat on the porch with my hubby that night and told him I was suddenly all nervous.  He said, without so much as a thought, “Oh, honey, you’ve got this.  Stop it.”  I love that man.

Tuesday – 3.1 miles, 29:27
Better than Monday. “Hardly an impressive distinction, AJ.” (thank you, Aaron Sorkin.)

Back to school means back to swim, and now with my boy it means back to extra evening swim practices.  This meant my run was at 6pm, not my usual lunch hour or early morning.  My evening runs haven’t been as reliable as earlier in the day – I’m often not as good about “fueling” as I should be and I pay for it at the end of the day.  But this run was okay – I kept a good pace, just like Monday, but the effort felt easier.  I realized too far along in the route that I could have easily bested my 5K time from June - which is a nice reminder that this summer's work has prepared me for the race.  Just what I needed. (Only) slightly less nervous...

Thursday – 3.21 miles, 30:20
Back to swim practice we go.  Today I managed to get through the entire day on a latte, scone, one ounce of cheese and four celery sticks.  I did that math as my stomach growled LOUDLY on the drive to the pool.  Oops! So I sat in the car, listening to news coverage of the Benghazi embassy attack (so very sad, and such a complicated mess) while I scarfed the yogurt from my briefcase. 

Oh, and did I mention it was 80 degrees at 6pm?  Yeah.  I briefly considered the treadmill, then realized I would never want to trade away a lovely evening.  The heat was already losing its punch; I started out with a wonky sattelite reading on my Garmin, which meant it was registering a 6:55 pace (NOT) at a half mile in.  Oh yeah, RIGHT.  I didn’t get a good sense of my pace and was moving too fast, but I didn’t catch it until almost 1.5 miles in.  Between that fast start and the complete food failure for the day I ended up walking at mile 2.5 (!!!). But after walking just a short stretch, I was on pace, in stride, and feeling good.  Too bad I was only a quarter mile from the finish when it all kicked in. J

With that comedy of errors out of the way, I know I can recover and get back on track.  Yet again, confidence bolstered.  I feel pretty ready for Sunday. Bring it on!

Planned for this week:

Sunday – RACE. Then – nothing.  No plans beyond a rest week.  If things feel good, I might get out.  But it’s time for a break.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Training recap – September 3-9

Penultimate week – stepping back a bit, but keeping up the fun.  Add to that a holiday, the start of the school year, busy at work and a sick kid at home.  Oh, and it decided to get summer-hot for a few days.  Craaaazy…

The plan was:  to run two or three times during the week, 3-4 miles per time, and do 7-8 miles next weekend.

The reality:  

Monday – 4.78 miles, 54:05
Labor Day showed up bright and clear, and the Math Teacher was back from her weekend jaunt to the big city.  I thought we were doing three, she thought we were doing five.  We decided to split the difference and came up with a flat, easy four-mile route.  Love running and chatting and catching up… and then we missed the turn for four miles, which meant we double-back (never!) or just keep going.  So.  Nearly five miles.  Good for the soul, right?

Wednesday – 2.3 miles, 21:22
Yeah, I wrote about this one.  A pleasant early-morning run is a super-nice reward when you almost blow it off and sleep in because [insert bestest excuses here].  But yes, I do need to figure out my low-light running gear, because the dark days, they are a-comin’.

Saturday – 7.43 miles, 1:20:52
Since the Math Teacher is running the 10K next week, and I’m doing the half, our long-run plans are pretty different.  Our game plan for today was for me to start out with three, then to meet up and run the next five together.  It worked pretty darn well, from what I can tell!   

first part 2.83 m in 28:00 (9:53 pace) – the vest was too much for the temperature, and my (#*$% run belt refused to stay on my hips. GARRROOOWWWLLLL.  Finally got fed up enough with it to double back to the car and drop it all off, putting the gels in my pocket instead (I love RunningSkirts! Just sayin’).  But now, my three-mile plan was messed up, so I started randomly running around various blocks until I thought MT would be at our meet-up point.  I don’t think I left her there too long… (sorry, friend!)

second part 4.61 m in 52:56 (11:28 pace) – much improved gearwise, and generally uneventful.  Except we kept MT at near-redline pace.  And we ran The Hill without stopping (her first time!  And only my second! We ROCK!).  And I wouldn’t let her ease up at the end on the downhill – I told her we were “practicing our finishing kick” when really I just REALLY wanted my coffee. J  And when she reads this, I’m totally gonna hear it.  (Hee!)

Planned for this week:

Oh, wow, it’s race week.  I’ll be honest, I don’t know how to structure a race week.  I think I’ll run a couple or three times, keep it short at 2-4 miles per time, and just see what happens. 

The other thing is to start considering what comes next.  I know the races I intend to run next year (Capital City half in May, You Go Girl! in September, Portland Marathon (full!) in October).  I’ve got some goals I’m kicking around for the short term in regard to things-I-need-to-work-on and things-I-ought-to-be-doing, but there has to be some manner of things-I-haven’t-tried-yet and things-just-for-the-heck-of-it.  So I’ll be kicking around ideas this week and trying to put them to paper this week. Or next.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

on not saying no

I almost didn’t run yesterday.

The night before, when realizing this no-school Montuesday had messed with my schedule and the week was packed with meetings and the weather was turning hot (really, summer? You wait until after Labor Day, after school starts, to get your second wind? Gah.) I recognized the only definite opportunity I would have to run would be Wednesday morning.


Now, dear reader, of all the beautiful routes available around here, running from my house is not my favorite (by a long shot).  It’s a lovely road with wide shoulders that runs along a lake, yes, but it’s also a busy rural arterial with rolling hills and blind curves.  And it’s a FAST road – the posted 35 MPH speed limit is widely ignored.  The only time traffic is reasonably quiet is first thing in the morning, and only on Sundays does “first thing” extend past the 7:00 am commute.  However, there's not time to drive to one of my preferred routes on weekday mornings when there's work and school to get to.  So, a weekday morning run means a run on my street.

Anyway.  Back to Tuesday night.  Super-busy work day, left early for the back-to-school open house to meet teachers/see friends/hug fellow moms and catch up a little.  Home to get kids fed, get showers, set out clothes, pack lunches.  Then bedtime, except…can’t sleep.  Brain won’t stop.  AAAUGH.  Up to couch with a chamomile tea latte and the laptop for an hour, then back to bed. No luck, still awake.


Right about then – 1:00 am – is when I said “no” to that planned 5:45 am run.

Dozed a bit over the next few hours, but when the early-run alarm went off I slapped it down.  Twenty minutes later when the normal alarm went off I slapped it down, too.  Realizing the futility of laying there any longer, I got up to make a large pot of coffee and drown the night’s sorrows in it.

You can still run, my mind whispered.

I looked out the window.  Only the tiniest line of light on the horizon.  I’d forgotten – it’s September, and the sun doesn’t rise at 5:00 am anymore.  I had not prepared for dark.

No. too dark, my inner grouch shot back.

Washed a few dishes while the coffee perked.  Wandered toward the couch with a cup in hand and lingered at the window.  Starting to brighten.

Sigh.  No.

Sat down with the laptop.  Not much new in the five overnight hours since I last checked.  Looked at the clock – 6:07 am.

There’s still time…and if not now, when?

…and before my grouch could shut me down I got up, changed, grabbed my son’s reflective vest and whispered to the kids that I’d be back.

It was chilly and perfectly clear, the entire sky was  light but the sun hadn’t yet crested the horizon.  I startled a young deer in the driveway and watched it bound across the meadow with her sibling. A slight haze of fog hung over the bottom of the driveway, but the road was clear.  I headed toward a marker about a mile away.  The mirror-still lake reflected the apricot sky and trees on the shoreline and the mountain on the skyline.  Just a few cars passed me as I ran – as well as four school buses headed out to pick up their charges for the first time this year. A few cyclists commuting with their panniers nodded and waved.  Near the finish a line of cars passed, held back by the one in front driving the posted speed limit.

I could not believe I almost let this go.

The rollers were barely noticed, the run felt easy at a good clip.  The vest was comfortable to run in, my shoes stayed tied, my key didn’t jingle in my pocket – none of the usual annoyances.  I didn’t stop running until I was back in my driveway.  Almost perfect.

Back at the door, my final reward:


To think, what I almost missed.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Training recap – August 27 - September 2

Woohoo! 22 miles on the week! As far as running, this was the week when everything clicked.  Just what I needed after a couple tough ones – and a huge confidence builder headed into the tapering stretch.

The plan was:  A 5-miler, a 3-mile or two, and a 10-mile long run – my longest run prepping for the half-marathon.

The reality:

Monday – 3.34 miles, 36:09
Met up with Soozan for an easy lunch run for the first time in a few weeks.  So good to chat with my friend and catch up!  She’s got her big cycling trip coming up and she is SO ready.

Wednesday – 6.2 miles, 59:38
Yeah, I wrote about this one.  Just. Awesome.

Thursday – 2.8 miles, 28:10
I was sore after Wednesday’s effort, but wanted to enjoy the day.  Finally managed to dial back the first mile pace to an acceptable warmup and accelerated as I went.  Splits were 10:27, 10:15, and 7:28 (9:24 pace).  And since the cafeteria had stuffed baked potatoes for lunch (yum! And what better recovery food, really?) I just put my money in my pocket and finished my run there.  Got some awesome looks for that one, I tell ya. (hee!)
Saturday – 10.0 miles, 1:40:41
I wrote about this one, too.  This was a great one to get done.  It was long, I was alone, I was having difficulty with the equipment I was carrying, but got through it all and kept about a ten-minute average pace (“average” being the operative word, splits ranged from 8:09 to 11:33 and not in any particular order).  After this run, I am fully confident that my A-goal for You Go Girl! is within reach as long as I execute properly (i.e. don’t screw up).

Planned for this week:
Time to start scaling back a bit.  Plan to run two or three times during the week, 3-4 miles per time, and do 7-8 miles next weekend.  Oh – and Portland Marathon registration for 2013 opens this week.  I WILL be registered by the end of the week.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Ten miles – DONE.

Done, done, done.  Love saying that.  Love the way it rolls off the tongue, how it feels in my mouth as I say it, how it feels in my legs (that “good hurt” thing, yeah right), how it feels in my lungs.  That’s a good feeling.

It doesn’t feel “good” when I’m running, necessarily.  Sometimes that “good hurt” is missing the “good” part.  Sometimes slogging through ten more steps feels like a step too far.  Sometimes it’s not a nice feeling to be alone on the sidewalk, no one in sight, no cars passing – less peaceful, more lonely.  It occurred to me this morning that I will need some strategies for that as I keep going toward the marathon.

Speaking of which… according to the newsletter, registration for the 2013 Portland Marathon opens today. I am so excited!!!  BUT – the website hasn’t been updated, no matter how many (dozens of) times I refresh the page.  Bah.  But maybe waiting will have its advantages.  I am toying with the idea of using my marathon training as a fundraising vehicle for a small non-profit I like… sort of like the “Team in Training” model, but not quite… obviously I need to do more research.  That’s in progress.  (But, yeesh, couldn’t I at least see the fees???  There are budgets to plan, people!)

The run itself – it was a tough one to get done.  I think I psyched myself out a bit – ten miles! All by myself! Oh my!  The Math Teacher is off for the holiday weekend, but I still kept our usual starting time.  It was chilly starting out, not quite 50 degrees, and being tired I decided to keep my jacket on.  I started out by reversing my usual route, so that lovely mile-long downhill-to-Starbucks that I usually finish with was my opening mile uphill.  Before that first mile was done, my jacket was tied around my waist, my Nuun bottles were leaking and splattering down my legs, and my belt pack was trying to ride up past my navel.  GAH.  Thank heavens it was 6:30 in the morning, far fewer people heard me muttering bad things at all of it.

I short-cut the loop slightly so I could get back to the car as quickly as possible, so when I dropped all that crap gear back in the car I was shy of 4.5 miles.  (Oh, but so worth it – the sheer lightness of running with just a Gu and a car key in my fanny pocket…)  As I started back out the “normal” way, some of the running groups were out.  It’s fun to watch organized groups – or even the less-organized gaggles – running together.  I was never much of an athlete, and seeing the camaraderie of the team is inspiring.  Had to add a bit to the return route to make my ten, but managed to correctly do the math in my head and hit the target spot-on – even before coffee!

Smartest move of the day – bringing dry clothes and compression socks to change into at the coffee shop.  I’d arranged to meet a friend for coffee at the end of the run, and it was so nice to sit comfortably.

Not quite the same run recap I usually do – here’s the splits, for the heck of it…  Kinda all over the place, huh.  Something else to work in the next phase.


I’m ready to get on with it.  I’m ready to start tapering and get to the start line.  Antsy, even.