I'm lucky to again be volunteering with the Bentonville Half Marathon training program. We meet every Saturday morning for our group long run while training for the race on March 28th. It's a chance to run with 285 of my closest running friends!
This past Saturday was much like the week...cold...seriously cold! There was plenty of Facebook taunting throughout the week as well as a little bit of education on how to properly layer for cold weather. The group is a mixture of brand new runners and some that are more experienced plus all of the Rush Running volunteers.
The temps were brisk and yet it was a perfect morning. Around mile one, I shucked off my gloves. The sun was coming up by then and I always seem to have hot hands. The way that our volunteer crew works is that we run with the group and as we hit turns or street intersections at least one volunteer stops until they are replaced by another. Our goal is to try and encourage each and every one of the group members. I got to cheer lots of people on for one turn and then 1/2 mile later got to also work the turn around point for our route.
It was so much fun to be the turn around...lots of people were pumped to see me and make the turn back to the start. I finished up the route and then headed back out to help run in some of the others still out on the course. Several other volunteers did the same thing and I have a feeling that our encouragement was appreciated.
I ended up with just over 6 miles with the training group. I headed home and picked up my dog to get some extra miles. My house is right off the route that the group had run so I was running on one of the same streets as just 30 minutes earlier. However this time, without the group, the temps felt so much colder. I don't know what it was but it really was a struggle. I had to put my gloves back on and wipe away some cold tears. Thankfully I got warmed back up and was able to get to about 9 miles total for the day.
It felt good to get my long run built back up and it was so much fun to hear members of the group be so proud of themselves for hitting their longest runs yet. It is so much fun to give back to this group and in turn receive so much from each of them.