|Photo credit: http://cdn.everyjoe.com/files/2011/10/cardinals-2011-world-series.jpg|
My friend Jim knows I have some trail races coming up and needed to start putting in some miles and had been kind enough to invite me to a group run at Castlewood Park with the St. Louis Ultrarunners Group, which he recently joined. My trail race in November is a 30K, so I figured 16 miles would be a good training distance, and since they were planning on running 3- and 5-mile loops, it would be pretty easy to put in 16 miles with the group.
Did I say easy?? Hahaha hahaha hahaha. I not only suffer from Athletic ADD, but I have a secondary diagnosis of Athletic Amnesia.
Thank goodness I'd made plans with a friend, because there's NO WAY I'd have gotten up at 6 a.m. if I didn't have someone expecting me. I dragged myself out of bed and checked the temperature. 36 degrees! Though I ran in cold and snow last winter, I got soft over the summer. I wasn't sure how to dress but settled on shorts, tall socks, a long-sleeved shirt, and a short-sleeved technical t-shirt. That ended up being the perfect choice.
I made it to our meeting spot about 26 seconds before Jim, and then we headed off to Castlewood. My friend Sara was running behind and planning to catch up with us on one of the loops. We followed the group down the road and then cut off onto the trails near the river. The first part was pretty flat, and while I was in the back, I wasn't dramatically behind everyone else. That changed as soon as we hit the Castlewood steps.
|I get to "run" these three times in the Skippo...yea...|
We headed onto the trail on the other side of the road. I managed the first gradual hills OK but fell further and further behind, finally having to walk up one of them (and then others). Jim stopped and waited for me, despite my assurances that I'd be fine on my own if he wanted to run with his group. Once again, my ability in reality doesn't anywhere near live up to my perceived ability. I knew it would be a tough run, but I forget how hard those hills are for me...and how inconsistent my training has been over the past few months.
So Jim and I stuck together for the rest of the run, and as we ended that second loop we met up with Sara. She and I met once through mutual friends and then connected recently online, so it was nice to have a chance to hang out and talk, and she did a great job out on the trails. We headed back to the first loop, which meant another trip back up the stairs, but Jim promised me that they'd get easier every time.
He's a little bit of a liar, but we made it to the top.
|So glad to be finished with steps!|
We dropped Sara back at the cars so that she could go pick up her kiddos and then headed out again. One thing about running with Jim, there's no shortage of conversation. :) He's really encouraging and always has nice things to say, too. He's way faster than I am, so it was super nice of him to hang back with me instead of pushing the pace like I know he could have.
This was the longest run I've done since the marathon back in May, so by the time we'd hit about mile 13, I was really feeling it. My left knee was sore, my feet hurt, and my legs ached. We still had three miles to reach my planned 16, though, so we couldn't quit yet. This time, we headed up a trail that just got steeper and steeper. "I think we may be doing a lot of walking for these miles," I told Jim.
He let me get away with that for a little while, but once the trail flattened out a little he convinced me to run again. It hurt, but walking didn't feel so great, either. Sometimes my legs feel like they could run forever while my lungs are threatening to secede; this was the opposite experience. I didn't feel too tired, my breathing was OK, but my legs were hating me. I guess that just means I need to be putting in more miles.
For Saturday, though, I made it through a very slow 16 miles, which was my goal, and since I was still able to walk that evening I added in another 2.6 miles with the dog. Today, between a couple of walks g and trick or treating, I logged another 6. That leaves me with just 3.9 tomorrow in order to have an even 100 for the month...and because I've spent so much of the last week walking, I will be getting back into a regular running routine starting Wednesday.
|I'll have to, because I'm sure I'll be sneaking plenty of this guy's Halloween candy. :)|