With vacation last month, the increasing heat, and the loss of a running partner, I was starting to have some motivation issues with my running. So…a few weeks ago, as crazy and creepy as it sounds, I put an ad on craigs list for a running partner. I was concerned about some of the responses I might get, not wanting to attract weirdos with motivations not centered around running. Surprisingly, I got 2 responses, and they have actually been legitimate runners – no weirdos! One is a former Oklahoma University basketball player, who now works at a physical therapy office, who runs faster than I (not saying much) and really pushes me during our runs. We’ve actually only run twice, but I think that will pick up some. The other new running partner is a girl who just moved here from Colorado who is trying to adjust to the heat and train for her 2nd marathon. We’ve run 3 times, 2 of which has been with a big group of runners called The Running Family. She’s a little slower than I, but I’m willing to trade that off for the accountability so I’ll get my rear out the door and on the roads getting the miles in. My training now is focused on mileage, not speed, so it doesn’t bother me at all that I’ve been running at a slower pace. I’ve had some issues with my soleus’ anyway (lower calf muscles), so it’s been good to get the easy runs in.
The Running Family is awesome! I’ve never run with a group before. A few years ago, a guy who was a marathon coach for Luke’s Locker decided to branch off and start his program. But instead of charging everyone $200 or more like Luke’s Locker, it’s FREE! Every Saturday morning at 6am, they all meet near the Trinity River trail and run a different route each week. The person who creates the route also sets up an aid station along the course with water, Gatorade, M&Ms, pretzels, and ice cold towels. They run 3-4 miles to the aid station, and then do a few out and backs so you hit the aid station 2-3 times during the 12-13 mile run. There’s about 120 people on the “roster”, but typically about 30 show up each week.
Last week, I met quite a few really nice runners that I got to know on our 2 hour run. Then today, my new partner and I met at the trail at 5am to get 5-6 miles in before meeting up with the group at 6am for another 13 miles. Actually my partner ran 16 and I ended up doing 20 today. I saw most of my new running friends, and met probably 6-7 new runners. It was so much fun!! There’s just a certain camaraderie with runners that I’ve never experienced before. It also makes the miles go by faster and less painful when you’re having fun with other people. I actually feel better today than I have ever felt after a 20 miler. I even met 3 ultrarunners today! I’m hoping to soak up some knowledge from them since I’m training for my first ultramarathon (any distance over 26.2 miles).
One funny exchange happened with an older man I struck up conversation with after noticing his Palo Duro Trail Run hat. I told him I did the 20k last year and am planning on going back this year for the 50 miler. He said he did the 50 a few years ago and thought it was a beautiful course with top notch support. We talked about it for a few minutes and then I asked him about the “second wall” that ultrarunners get on a 50 miler that I read about…
“Yeah, it hits at about mile 26. Just stay ahead on your fluids.”
With a quizzical expression, I ask “Mile 26??” followed by another older man beside us who said “Didn’t you hear him say 50 MILES?!?!”
“You’re doing the 50 miler? You’re crazier than sh**!”
Me – “Well, I’m gonna give it a try”
“If you can do that, you’re a MONSTER. I only did the 50k!”
It was pretty funny. I need to hook up with the ultrarunners who won’t just think I’m a nutcase for wanting to go 50 miles. And I know I have a LOT I could learn from them. This weekend will be my second set of long run sandwiches, or back-to-backs. My 20 today will be followed by a 10 miler tomorrow. That strategy is supposed to get you ready for the long 50 miler, so we’ll see how my body holds up. I’ll increase my Saturday runs up to 32 miles about 3-4 weeks before the race. I think I have about 12 weeks now until race day. I’m starting to get excited, but these 50 and soon to be 60 mile weeks are starting to talk to me a little.
We have been foster parenting a beautiful Weimaraner for the past month, hoping she would get adopted pretty soon so we could 1)prevent her from being put to sleep, and 2)test drive an older dog that is past the puppy stage without committing long term. Well, for various reasons, she didn’t work out, so I took her back to the rescue center today. Before I even got home, they had called to let us know someone had adopted her – so that was great news!!
I don’t want to comment much on the Brett Favre drama. I’ll just say Ted Thompson is an idiot if he doesn’t have McCarthy start Favre…and if he doesn’t…I can’t see Favre playing anywhere else. That’s all I’m saying. It will be interesting to see what happens this weekend when Favre requests reinstatement from the NFL and reports to training camp.
I guess school starts back in about a month. I can’t believe we’ll have 3 in school! Kylie is ready to start Kindergarten, and Jenn is looking forward to only having Caleb at home during the day. Of course, he’s quite a handful so I don’t know how much of a break she’ll really get.
Some good friends of ours opened a snow cone stand, and we’ve been supporting them A LOT lately! We don’t always buy a snow cone – sometimes we’ll just go up there and hang out to try and make it look like a happenin place and attract more customers. They’re actually doing quite well with it. Makes me a little jealous! Wish we could do that and make thousands of dollars a month!!
Well, hopefully it won’t be 3 months before I post again, but I know you guys have come to expect that…so I’d hate to let you down. HA!