I have an announcement to make: On Saturday, I ran 9 miles. And - are you ready for this - I enjoyed it. Every step, from beginning to end. WHAT THE WHAT?? I'm as surprised as you are, seeing as I've just not had any good runs lately. But somehow, in some magical way, that run was a good one.
Setting the stage, because this one definitely needs to be remembered, we started at 5:00 am; Jeff's back was still hurting, so Diane came by and picked me up to go to the clubhouse. It was a chilly (for us) morning, about 50 degrees, and I had a mental struggle convincing myself that I would be OK to run in a short-sleeved shirt. I knew that was the right option, that once I started running I'd warm up enough to be comfortable, but it was cold when I walked outside...and then seeing Diane wearing two layers made me doubt myself. And when we got to the clubhouse and Cary came out wearing a long-sleeved shirt, I considered starting off while wearing my windbreaker. Luckily Loretta rolled up wearing a short-sleeved shirt, so I went with my original plan and that ended up being perfect - I was never cold, but I was also never hot. And I know, 50 degrees is short-sleeved running weather, but we are so accustomed to hot weather that 50 seems cold when it first happens!
We all set off running; Cary and Loretta ran at their own paces while Diane and I stayed together. While we run in the same area every Saturday, I do try to change up the route so that it's a different experience, and I have to say that this route was a good one, with a long detour that was either flat or downhill for over two miles, and that's not counting the regular downhill portions along the way. We ran our normal intervals and never needed to throw an extra walk in, which is usually standard for us at some point on a long run. I remember realizing, as we were around the 7.5 mile mark, that I could feel the power of my quads while I was running, which was something new for me. My legs felt strong instead of tired or lead-like...again, what the what?? This was such a nice feeling after so many rough runs.
I finished my 9 miles while Diane went on to run an additional 3 miles. I really could not get over how great I felt; I know the weather played a huge part in making this run so good, but also, I think I'm finally getting a little better conditioned, what with all the walking and weekday running and going to Planet Fitness - it's coming together, and it couldn't be at a better time, considering our half marathon is about six weeks away. I feel a bit more confident thinking about that race now; here’s hoping I can hang onto that feeling!