Running club, that is. We've had two Saturday group runs already, plus I'm following the weekday training schedule, which has us running Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. For me, the training is starting earlier than I need it, because my goal race is the Houston half marathon in mid-January. But the official goal race of our running club is the BCS marathon/half marathon, which is in mid-December, so that's why our group begins so early.
However, I have a bit of a different goal this season. My running buddy Loretta is back, and I want to run Houston with her. Now, she's also going to run BCS because she had to defer her entry last year when she had that pesky hip stress fracture, so she'll be doing that race with CC, who, if you'll recall, ran Houston with me last January. It's the circle of life, runner-style! Anyway, I'm going to run whatever intervals Loretta feels comfortable with, at whatever pace that works for her. It's all about getting her to the start lines of these races healthy and ready to have a fun time.
The first Saturday, we had three miles on tap, and both CC and I ran with Loretta, doing 1:1 intervals. She did great, especially considering she hadn't been able to run for a couple of months - she'd had some hip pain, so her doctor advised rest, and then simply walking for a while, so she's starting from scratch again. And even though it was hot and sunny, I barely noticed it because I was focused on how Loretta was feeling during the run.
The second Saturday was pretty rough. Loretta and CC were off at a conference, so I ran with Cary and Andi. It was after 7:00 am when we started, the sun was out and it was 79 degrees with humidity hovering around 94%. We did 2:1 intervals for four miles, with an occasional extra bit of walking thrown in. Running in July, in Texas, is just not fun...and having to do it with the sun out makes it extra challenging. Next week we'll start at 6:30 am, so while it will still be stupid hot and humid, at least the sun won't be beating down on us. Small favors, I guess.
The running during the week is going fine, although my legs protested a bit when I ran two days in a row. They were all "hey now, we usually get more rest than this, what are you doing to us??" but I shut 'em down pretty quick - might as well get used to this, legs!
The best part about this training season has been the fact that I'm not the organizer of our running club anymore. I get to show up a few minutes before start time, socialize with my friends, run, and then socialize some more. I don't have to worry about which runners are still out, or get everyone together for a seminar, or get someone registered, or gather up all of the stuff and load up the car afterward - and it's WONDERFUL. After two years of that, I am really enjoying just being a runner...now if I could fast forward through the dog days of our summer heat, I might actually begin to be a decent runner!