My half marathon plan called for a 6 mile run today. Since it was really nice out today (43degrees and sunny) I decided to run outside. Besides, the thought of running 6 miles on a treadmill just did not seem appealing! My husband wanted to take our boys and dog to the dog park so I decided to meet them there. One thing I love about where we live is that it is close to the Cherry Creek State Park. It consists of this massive trail system that you can take all over the city. I don't mind running on roads, but running on a trail, away from cars, traffic, and lots of noise is just awesome! We estimated that it would probably be between 6-7 miles, exactly what I needed to run. Perfect!
I got my tights on, a long sleeve wicking shirt, my running jacket, a new bondi band (yeah!), my ipod, Garmin, and Nathan handheld water bottle and was off. It felt so good to run outside again. The temperature was perfect, the sun was shinning, and it was a little windy, but not too bad. One thing I've realized is that I am always faster outside then I am on the treadmill. And, when I try to run my normal outside pace on the treadmill it just seems so much harder. Why is that? Do any of your experience that too?
Anyways, according to the McMillan Running Calculator Chart I was supposed to be doing my long run around 8:50-9:00 pace, but my body really wanted to run faster. When I felt like I was running at a good pace I would check my Garmin and I was always around 8:35. I kept telling myself to SLOW down, but after awhile I just let my body dictate my pace instead of some chart and continued on my run. And you know what? I felt great!
I ran by lots of runners, giving them a little wave, and loved it when I got one back. I've found that most runners are pretty friendly and will almost always give a little wave or nod back. I think it's because we know what other runners are feeling and acknowledging each other helps us take comfort in knowing that we're not alone in our efforts. Or, maybe people are just being nice. :)
As I was running I got to a point where I had to cross a road and continue South on the trail. At this point I looked at my Garmin and realized I had already run 5.5 miles. Uh-oh! I knew at that moment that my run was going to be longer than I had expected. I got a little nervous because I only had water with me and no nutrition (I thought I was only going to be running for around 45-50min, so I didn't feel the need to bring anything). Plus, the longest I had run previous to this was 5 miles and I didn't want to overdo it. But, I forged ahead and I still felt great. I came to this bridge that I knew was only a short distance from the cut-off to the dog park and was so excited! I took the cut-off and stopped to call my husband to see where they were. Turns out they were only about 1/4 mile away, so I ran the rest of the way to meet them. All in all, I ended up running 7.9 miles in a little over an hour! Woohoo!
What a great start to the weekend! My husband and I are running a race with our boys in the jogger tomorrow for the Valentine's Day 5K. It should be a lot of fun! That is, if we don't end up getting a lot of snow. Right now the forecast calls for snow showers tomorrow A.M. We have a cover that goes over the BOB to keep our boys warm and dry, but because they're just sitting there they get cold pretty quickly. We're already planning to bring hot chocolate for them and those little hand warmers to help keep them warm. We'll make the final call tomorrow morning on whether we'll all go or if just one of us will run. But, do you think it would be selfish to still run with them?
I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's weekend!