Diane and I started out 45 minutes earlier than the rest of the group, simply because we didn't want everyone to be waiting around for us to finish. It was 72 degrees, with humidity around 85% - the arctic cold front wasn't scheduled to arrive until later that night, so we were in short sleeves. That weather would have been challenging enough, but it was super windy, with extra strong gusts, and I swear except for one short stretch, we were running into the wind for most of the run...which made no sense considering we changed directions several times as we ran. But it was hat-blowing-off-your-head wind, the kind where you had to keep your head down and just try to keep moving forward.
Despite running in what felt like total darkness (except for our clip-on lights), despite the random cigarette-smoking man who was walking toward us on the sidewalk at 5:45 am, despite the car who blared their horn at us as we ran along the sidewalk (a rare occurrence, but startling when it happens), we were doing OK for quite a few miles. But I think that as much as I want to not use GU for fuel during my long runs (because it causes stomach issues), Tailwind and gummy chews just aren't enough because I bonked around mile 6 - my legs ran out of energy. I had one GU with me and took that (I'd been fueling the entire run with sips of Tailwind plus I had several energy chews around mile 4), and I felt better, but we ended up walking quite a bit of mile 7, and when we hit mile 8, we decided to cut the run to 10 miles.
Shortly after that decision, we ran into Loretta, who had been riding her bike along the route offering mobile water stops, and I tried to get her to let me ride her bike back, but that was a no-go, LOL. We abandoned our regular 2:45 intervals and instead ran from random point to point; I suspect this will end up being my strategy for the Houston half marathon next month and while it's not pretty, it gets the job done. Diane and I arrived back at the Clubhouse first, and I opened the garage door using the keypad code and then dropped my hand into the additional "security" - aka a gigantic potted cactus - OUCH:
Small, but mighty painful spines!
Diane and I sat down in the garage, out of the wind, and waited for Cary to return - not only did I need her tweezers to take care of this, but I also needed her young eyes to see the spines to pluck them out. Thankfully it wasn't too long before she appeared and took care of me and I only yelped twice. Just another adventure in running!
Afterward, we went to Blue Baker and had our usual amount of merriment, bacon, and baked treats, and then we went home to shower and nap, because we had another party in a few hours...a Say Yes to a Dress party, to help Diane choose her Mother of the Groom dress for her son's upcoming wedding!
Desserts - crucial after a long run!
CC and Loretta - CC put her phone on her belly and we could see Mason making it move - not too much longer before we get to meet him in person! Also, Julia and I, plus Cary and Andi.
The star and very good sport of the night was Diane, who brought over the dresses she'd bought and modeled them for us. We evaluated each ensemble, discussed pros and cons (is she comfortable? can she hug people?), and some even took notes. The hands down winner was this outfit:
Black velvet skirt and top, which will be perfect for an evening wedding on New Year's Eve!
Of course, you can't let a room of close friends look at your outfit without the subject of foundation garments coming up, which is how we all ended up piling in Andi's van and driving to the mall. We even brought the winning dress so Diane could try it on over potential undergarments! Now, going to the mall on a Saturday night just a week before Christmas might sound crazy, but this mall is never very crowded, so it's not like we were dealing with hordes of shoppers. We parked outside of Dillard's and had great success (and a lot of laughs in the dressing room) with finding a comfortable Spanx-like garment. We then zipped over to Victoria's Secret and finally Macy's and boom - the rest of her foundation garments were purchased. Fun times - you never get closer to friends than when you are bra shopping.
We walked out of the mall to discover that the arctic cold front had arrived, and since we walked in wearing T-shirts and jeans because it was nearly 80 degrees, we ran to the van in the 50 degree, wind-making-it-feel-like-30-degrees temps! BRRRRR! We got back to my house, toasted the dress success, and then everyone went home, while I put on my new flannel nightshirt that I found at Dillard's - why yes, I managed to do some quick power shopping - and settled in to knit:
The retro cars reminded me of our stay at the Cabana Bay hotel - this nightshirt called out to me and I said YES!
I began my day with my running friends and ended it with them, and it was a darn good day, even with running 10 miles!