This week, my training was at full strength. I went to core class on Monday, and on Tuesday I ran with my training group. We had a 1.5-mile warmup, 2.5 miles of speedwork, then 1.5 miles back to Rogue. I had a pretty horrid day at work on Wednesday and more or less hid under the covers as soon as I got home–which is easy to do with the time change, I have to admit. Thursday we ran 4.5 miles on some (really dark) trails. Thank goodness for head lamps! Even so, I had to pay attention to each step, and that concentration combined with the effort made me work out some of that stress and feel better.
This morning we had 10-12 miles on the schedule. When I left my house at 6:00am, it was 48 degrees and still very dark. I wore a light long sleeved shirt, turned on my reflective smiley guy, and headed out.
If you’re happy and you know it… flash your nose
I hadn’t run this route since the day I ran 14 miles, the last two in a frigid thunderstorm. Today, the sun peeked over the horizon somewhere between our first and second miles.
The neighborhood was quiet and few cars traveled the main road. But as we stood there at the first water stop, a truck drove by. It had a large crate in its bed, and as it passed us, we heard insistent bleating. Maybe it was the early hour, maybe it was the fact that the guy had a goat in the back of his truck, but we cracked up. Am I the only one who experienced a goat drive-by today? I think yes.
I had a little trouble catching my breath on the next hill (cold air exacerbates my asthma) but it settled down pretty quickly. We stopped for water just before three miles, then headed down the path that runs parallel to the highway. We caught another breather waiting for the Walk signals at the next intersection. Then we followed another sidewalk on the other side of the highway.
A random guy driving a truck honked at us. Three cows mooed at us. I liked the cows better.
We reached the five-mile point and I was afraid my running partner wanted to keep going for another mile since she’s running a half marathon in two weeks. This stretch of road is long and kind of bleak, and I didn’t know if I had that in me. The distance, yes, but not the emotional stamina to run another mile down that road. Relief flooded through me when she turned around at five. My hip flexors were already feeling sore, and I was ready to head back.
The return trip held a few challenges in the form of uphill stretches. But I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, and I ran up each one. Slow, yes. Walking, no.
Somewhere around mile 8.5, we crossed a side street in the crosswalk. Cars on the cross street have a stop sign, but the street we were on did not. Because I’ve observed so many drivers looking at their phones rather than at the road, though, I am really vigilant anytime I have to cross paths with a vehicle–even if I have the right-of-way. So when we were about halfway across the crosswalk, I started to to think this approaching car wasn’t planning to yield to us pedestrians. It was going too fast to stop before it reached the crosswalk. And I was right. She blew through the crosswalk about three feet in front of us. I held up my hands in a “WTF?” gesture, and she finally stopped with her back tires still in the crosswalk. Not only did she almost hit us, she then blocked our way! I was tempted to smack her trunk–since it was mere feet from me–but demonstrated significant restraint, dodged the back end of her car, and carried on. My irritation fueled me up that last hill.
The last mile was mostly downhill, and without additional livestock sightings or vehicular danger. As we ran those last few tenths, my running partner decided to head back out for another mile out and back so she could get to 12 miles after all.
I stopped my Garmin at an even 10 miles, then spent 20 minutes foam rolling. Well, technically it was 15 minutes of foam rolling and five minutes trying to stand back up again because my hip flexors ached. I don’t understand why I’ve felt this soreness so early in my runs lately–I expect it for 12-14 milers, but starting to feel it around mile five? Annoying. But still, Phase One: Ten Miles was complete.
I got home with enough time to shower and head back out again, this time for Mexican food with my dad. That was Phase Two: Refuel.
After lunch, we caught the shuttle bus to the Texas – West Virginia game. It was a crazy game, but we pulled out the win. This completed Phase Three: Light the Tower Orange!
Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to sit down a whole lot at the game, so this evening, as I watch Musburger-free Saturday night football, is the first chance I’d had to sit down and enjoy the day’s trifecta.
Have you had any close calls with drivers who aren’t paying attention?
See any unusual animals on your runs?
Favorite post-run food?