My friend Beth says that all runners who do races should make a point to volunteer for races as well. It is a good way to 'pay it forward', and to appreciate the work that goes into making a race go smoothly. It is also good to cheer for fellow runners for a change (as opposed to being the recipient of the cheers). I think she is right.
So, I volunteered at my first race today... the "Run for your Heart 5K". It was a local race sponsored by the Roadrunners Running Club and Centegra Healthbridge health club. I got to place the course markers, set up the water station, and set the mile markers out (and remove all of it later). It was pretty cool!
It was in the upper 70s for the race with about 200 runners of all ages. The course was flat and fast. The overall winner finished in 16 minutes or something ridiculously fast. The coolest thing was an older gentleman who walked the entire course with a cane. A group of volunteers walked with him the last 1/2 mile to the Finish Line, all clapping and cheering him on (me included). Talk about courage and mental toughness!
When I am in a race and feeling tired, and negative thoughts start to creep into my mind, I am going to remember that man's effort and determination. He achieved his goal! So shall I!
Training Week 2
Week 2 of my marathon training was pretty productive. I am still trying get acclimated to warm weather running, and this week felt much better than Week 1. On Tuesday, I went out on an easy run 4.6 mile run, running at a 10:42/mm pace (with 1/2 mile of warm-up/cool-down walking). It was warm but there was a nice breeze that kept me feeling refreshed.
Then I ran on three consecutive days -- Thursday, Friday, and Saturday -- which is not my usual schedule. Thursday was interval training for speed and I was very pleased with clocking six 500m run intervals at 9:20/mm pacing, followed by 1-minute recovery walks (it was very humid out there), and a couple of 5-minute easy run segments at 11:00/mm pace. On Friday, it was another easy run at a 10:10/mm pace with my usual 1/2 mile warm-up/cool-down walks.
On Saturday, I met up with my partner Mike for an 8-mile Long Slow Run (LSR) . We decided to run the Prairie Path which we used often last fall/winter. Well, they are doing some work on that path because there was a 2-mile stretch of it that was dug up (hopefully to be repaved with asphalt). It was like running on a trail -- nice-sized rocks, pieces of road, gravel, dirt, divots, you name it. I almost twisted an ankle at one point. And since we were doing a 4-mile out-and-back, we had to negotiate that stretch of the path twice. The bikers were none too pleased about it either!
The LSR run itself was great! The path is well-shaded (which was key in this heat). My pace was good (11:43/mm) and my heart rate stayed in Zones 2-3 (mostly Zone 2). We ended up running 8.3 miles by my watch, plus another .6 miles of warm-up walking (so almost 9 miles all together).
It is always more fun to run with someone -- for the conversation and the shared satisfaction of completion. Mike and I are good at keeping each other accountable to our training goals, and Mike is especially good at encouraging/challenging me to keep going and stay positive. I heard a quote somewhere that says "Friends don't let friends run alone". I totally agree with that!
I ended Week 2 with 21.8 miles across four runs (marathon training miles to-date: 39.7). My mileage for June now stands at 94.2. I didn't think I'd reach 100 miles this month but I guess I was mistaken. I will easily reach 105 miles for June. W00t!
Next week will be interesting. Training runs on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with my 9-mile Long Run on Sunday morning (with the training program folks). Thursday is supposed to be 103F so I am praying that at 5AM that morning, the temps will be reasonable. Otherwise, I might be doing some Treadmill training at LifeTime this week. I mean, I want to acclimate to warm weather running but not in 100+ degrees...