This week, in running:
Monday - 3.04 miles, easy
Tuesday - 5.43 miles, easy
Thursday - 6.18 miles, tempo
Saturday - 11 miles, long run
Sunday - 3 miles, easy
I'm going to cut to the chase: I came up short on my miles this week. The schedule said 12 miles with 6 at goal pace, and I ran 11 slow, slow miles.
But I have a good reason.
I was running there.
And where is there? There is a place with an elevation of 5,000 feet. There is a place with flat trails and no shade. There is Boulder, Colorado. There is a place I got to explore with the fantastic Jess.
Mark, Miles and I headed west this weekend to visit our new niece and as fun as it is to cuddle a 6-week-old, I was antsy to explore the state in the best way I know how - running. It's good thing, too, as I still had a marathon schedule to keep.
I had emailed Jess a few weeks before my trip to see if she would be up for accompanying (aka motivating) me for at least part of my long run. Thankfully, she didn't think I was a total creep and instead obliged, picking out a gorgeous trail just east of Boulder near the creek and reservoir.
We met at 7 a.m. to try to beat the heat, stashed our supplies in her car and got ready to run. I warned her that I might slow her down, unsure of how the altitude and extreme sleep deprivation of traveling with a toddler on DST would affect me, as we waited for satellites on our respective GPS devices. Once found, we took off at what seemed like a swift pace. I was sure we were running at an 8:30 and looked down to see we were running at nothing.
Can you guess what I did? I forgot to start the MOTOACTV. Go me! Well, as luck would have it, Jess forgot to start her Garmin, too. We were made to be running partners :)
We "officially" got started and wound along the trail, through fields and next to Boulder Creek as the Flat Irons stood majestically in the distance. It was fantastic and even more fantastic was talking to Jess. We found each other in the blogosphere when we were both pregnant, bonding over the same due date and running with a baby on board. Now, our little ones are on the brink of turning one! It's amazing how time flies.
We periodically took breaks for water and for me to catch my breath. Sometimes it was because I was startled (like a big baby) by prairie dogs and other times it was the elevation. I didn't feel like I was having a hard time breathing, per se; I just felt very out of shape. I managed fairly well until the last two miles or so when our pace dropped considerably. I was just done and making it even a half-mile seemed mean. However, you sort of have to get back to the car.
Friends, that's the beauty of out and backs.
We got back to the trailhead strong and began to stretch. We relayed data and both realized we were so close to 11 miles - I had 10.92 - and we both liked even numbers, mileage-wise. So we did what any tired runners would do. We clicked start again, sprinting down the trail as if we were fresh until we hit 11.
And then we walked. You know, to stretch out the legs. We did some more stretching and snapped a few photos before parting ways.
Thanks, Jess, for being such an awesome running partner. I wouldn't have made it those miles without you!