This Saturday we had a 10 mile/90 minute run planned. At a state park. On a trail. I was against it the whole time but I'd never undermine my coach. Secretly I was hoping someone else would complain enough to get the run changed to a road run, but no. So I went, quietly but reluctantly. One bright spot was I had the chance to try out my Nike Trails. I hate them. My right toes were tingly and cramped, almost like the right shoe was too small. I was wishing I had my Vibrams with me.
But WAIT!! I digress!! We all met at the state park where Joan and Ed were camping. They very sweetly were holding an "after run" breakfast. Joan had that under control, coffee makers ready to brew and the pancakes, sausage and bacon making all of us wishing we were done so we could just hang out and chow.
Once all of us arrived we did some stretching and got ready to go. We were off! It felt like I expected, having run a few feet here and there on grassy terrain. My legs were tired pretty quickly. Ed kept me going though. I was ready for a water stop but Bethany, Bob, Michelle and Josephine were just going full out. Ed and I were right behind them, which felt pretty good. I knew I needed some water, I've been experimenting with hydrating for a couple weeks. I've had to really cut my pre-hydration intake before a run. I'm trying to take in more AS I run instead of before. It helps alot, but I do need to make sure I drink during the run more often. Too bad I hate to run carrying a bottle. Ed, being my running partner, understands this and is very accommodating. Ed is also a very competitive runner. I tried to kinda duck out for a water stop without interupting his run but that was not to be. He refused to let me go by myself since we were on trails I didn't know. I knew I'd be fine if I stayed on the trail but Ed came with me for the detour. I was glad for that, to be honest. (hugs Ed)
We got back on the trail and decided to just go our own way since we couldn't see our team members. We came up on Jim, Cindy and Jada. They had also taken a different path at some point. They were doing exceptionally well. Nice and easy. Just OOZING of endurance. I found myself thinking back to my earlier training days. When I was learning how to enjoy a long run. Time was not a huge issue yet. I thought it was at the time, but now I feel more pressure to be faster. The 3 of them were smiling and talking, having a great time. I felt happy because I knew they were having a great run.
Ed and I ran on, I needed another water stop. I didn't bother arguing with Ed about him going on this time. I knew he wouldn't leave me. We yelled for Joan to let her know we were stopping for water and to say hello. Joan and Tony (Cindy's husband) were waiting for all of us at their campsite. As we were getting back onto the trail, Josephine came running across the road. She got separated from the original group too. Josephine stayed with Ed and I and we got back into it.
By mile 6 or so, I was telling Ed I wanted to go hang out with Joan and curl up with a cup of coffee. He kinda laughed. Then I said I wished it would rain. It was so hot, some rain would be so cool. Be careful what you wish for. The sky opened up and we got some rain. And some thunder. Oh...and some lightening. All at the same time, may I add. Within 15 minutes we were running in 6 inch deep puddles. I was nervous running in deep puddles with lightening. All we could do was pick up the pace. There was a huge crack of thunder and lightening lit up the whole wide world!!! I was screaming so I never heard Josephine screaming too. (she never heard me either) The 3 of us just took off. We ran the last mile faster than the first! And talk about getting DRENCHED!!
All of us were back at the campsite withing 15 minutes of each other. We had a lovely breakfast together and talked about the run. The "camper" is more like a condo, all of us fit in there! Joan and Ed had towels for everyone too. Bethany found there was a shower right across the road. A few of us had showers and changed into dry clothes, myself included. It was heaven!
So...I got a couple of revelations on this trail run.
1. I don't like my Nike trails
2. I run better when I'm enjoying myself
3. Maybe trail running isn't so bad
#3 is a little shocking. I was SO ready to hate the trails, that I think I convinced myself of that before I actually ran a full trail run. I need to admit that I ran 7 miles and was not sore at all the next day. I was a little tired, but overall...it was a beautiful run. There were wildflowers everywhere. The scrubjays were flying beside us. The parks people were mowing the path so the grass smelled wonderful. A few times I wished I could just lay down in the grass. But this is Florida. The red ants are brutal. So I could not lie down. There were butterflies, dragonflies and I think I ate a few bugs. Ed says they were protein but I'd rather have a cheeseburger. Extra cheese too. And a handful o'chips. Throw in a Bud Light and I'll be your best friend....LOL.
So we all had a great run. I love this team and I'm so happy to be a part of this project. The half marathon is 5 weeks away and I know we'll all do so well. All of us want the best for each other. I don't think I could have hand picked a nicer group of people to train with.