Today I split my long run up into two buckets. I'm helping as a volunteer for the half marathon training program so I got in some miles before that group run started.
I was a little slow getting up and ready this morning so I got to the starting spot at 6:10...10 minutes after the early group started. Oops! No worries for me though...I just put on my headlamp and headed out on a local 5K course. I tacked on some extra distance running through some of the downtown neighborhoods. I got to 4.75 miles by doing this which was just about what I wanted.
Right at 7AM I headed to the Activity Center where the training group meets. I put away my headlamp in the car and had a few bites of my Kate's Bar and sips of water. I stepped inside just in time to hear Mike talking about the training plan and how to avoid common running injuries. There are around 260 runners signed up in the training program and I can only hope that they all avoid injury over the next 2 1/2 months.
The beginners had a 5 mile route on tap today. I try to hang to the back and chat with runners through out the run. Once we hit the turn around I slowly pick my pace back up to my normal pace and then say hi and check on runners as I make my way back to the start. I was so impressed with all the people that I talked to...for many it was their first time running 5 miles. It was great and so inspiring! There were a few rolling hills in today's course and everyone tackled them with a smile on their faces.
On the return trip back to the activity center, we were headed into the sun with the wind blowing in our faces. It felt great since I was slightly overdressed for the awesome temps this morning. There is a neighborhood that has a wrought iron fence along the sidewalk. The sun was streaming between the houses and the fence bars and it felt like I was seeing strobe lights. It was quite psychedelic and just like a disco ball reflecting light. I finally had to look to the side and try to avoid the crazy sunlight.
I finished up the 5 miles with the group and then turned around and headed back onto the course. I cheered for everyone finishing and ran with a couple ladies to keep them company on their finish. It was fun to give people high 5's as they made their way up the last hill! I ended up adding on another 2 miles doing that and got to my total of 12 for the day.
After grabbing a bottle of water I headed to the local coffee shop to have breakfast with some friends. They had just finished up some of the Disney races last weekend so I got to hear some of their race stories. All in all it was a great start to the day and a great run! Only 4 weeks until my first 25K!