Today I ran a 10 Mile race with my friends. It was awesome having friends with me. We didn’t run together much but just having them there was amazing and invigorating and so freaking happy! We are all different in so many ways but runners are wonderful people with an amazing comraderie even to strangers. Today I had something happen to me that I’ve always feared. I missed the turn markers. This race was less than stellar in terms of most everything and the weather did a torrential downpour on us half way through. It would have been ok but my watch and phone are cracked so water is NO BUENO! So I was running respectable splits and would have hit my target finish time of sub 1:40:00 but I missed one of the turn markers. All of a sudden in the pouring rain while trying to keep my watch dry and jump big puddles and not get hit by a car I found myself all alone. I thought maybe I would see another runner around the corner but no…. I looked back and there was one of the girls I had met who came with one of my friends so I thought I was on the right track. I kept running until a woman in a truck stopped me to tell me that the runner behind me asked her to tell me i missed a turn. MISSED A TURN! uugghhhh! I thanked her and started back and it was my new friend that I met earlier at the start of the race. She stopped her race to get me back to mine. Only runners would do this.
This mishap is something that I have always dreaded. What would I do? Well now I know so it’s not so scary anymore. I have my new friend to thank for that. She’s a runner and we smile and say hello, cheer eachother on, pick eachother up, pat eachother on the back when things go wrong and we look out for eachother no matter what. I don’t know how long I would have kept running in that direction but it was far less because she stopped and helped me. It’s one of my favorite things about running. We support each other. So my overall time for 10 miles was more than I wanted but less than it could have been on the flip side. I’ll take that! I spent time with familiar smiling faces that mean the world to me and I met new friends and I’ll take that too! These ladies, this sport mean the world to me. I am so happy I started running! I love you all!
Today it was back to my everyday routine and running schedule. Jumping back in feels good having just had a week off. I slept like a rock which was much needed after a week of less than restful restless sleep. At 5:30 I jolted out of the deepest sleep which gave me that thick / flu like feel in my head and especially my eyes. I feel tired and I am but a run will make that feel better. I finish my pre-run routine and happily head out to put up 3 easy miles on an all too familiar route. Today, even though my head is in a sleep fog, I course over the neighborhood streets knowing every bump in the road and every rise and fall in elevation. Today, it is easier and the small rises in the road seem almost minute this morning. Almost like someone pulled the asphalt comforter wrinkles out, flattening the surface. Of course nothing is different and the increase in ease of effort is most likely because I have spent a week running the hills of VA. Compared to those elevated roads and rise and fall of the pavement there, this is a cake walk! My pace was in a good place because it was easier to navigate the all too familiar road and that felt great. I may not have gotten to do much interval training / Tabata workouts while I was there but I worked harder and actually put up the most miles of the month last week which is apparent now post first home run. Maybe I should put in more hill running on a regular basis just to add a strength aspect to my routine without having to add in more time. There’s only so many hours in a day so I’ll take whatever increase I can to make me as strong as possible wherever I can get it. I’ll miss the hills of VA as much as I cursed how challenging they felt while I was running them. Now I consider them a little secret like an energy drink or protein packed not so easy to get food that one stumbles upon and has to think about whether or not they’ll share with others. I don’t have to share this and I will put it away as one of my favorite things about my trips to see my family. Like a secret fountain of youth, the hills of VA make me feel strong and young and powerful. Not only do I benefit physically from running over them, I get to see the sin rise like I can’t see at home, smell air that is so fresh your lungs thank you and the beauty of the rolling hills with all its green grass, wild flowers and nature