A quick update with how everything is going:
As of Tuesday, I hit my minimum goal! I raised the $2900 I need to make everything happen. Now time to raise more, but it takes a whole lot of stress off.
It dumped a whole lot of snow on us about a week ago, so this week has been treacherous. If you don't know how Denver works, it will snow a lot. Then over the next few days, it will be warm and sunny during the day, but below freezing over night. It will melt. Freeze. Melt. Freeze. So on any given run during these moments, you will have: nice pavement/trail, mud, slush, water, ice, snow, and more nice trail. Repeat all those over and over and you have quite the adventure. Watch your ankles.
This week's speed work went well. We took 3 laps around the lake in City Park (~.8 miles) with the instruction of speeding up every lap. We called it quits when it got dark because the water patches started freezing, but I took an extra lap with a teammate who got there late so she could finish her workout and I could hit the 3 miles I needed, not wanting to skimp on any runs before my half marathon coming up.
Today's long run went GREAT! It was the best double digit run I've ever had! (Granted, I've only had 2 others in my life). We headed to Wash Park for this, and met up to go through some quick stretching. We had a visitor from the NYC chapter of Team in Training running with us, so that was awesome! We headed out at a slowish pace for the first mile just to get out feet under us, then everyone kind of split off into their own paces. I spent a few miles running with Miori, and I've shared my mostly disgust I have for running with people (and especially talking while doing so), but this was great! Then one of our coaches and another teammate joined for a stretch, but they broke off to stop for a quick water break. I had my running belt with me, so I had my own water, so I just kept trucking along. A little while later, a few of our teammates stopped to wait for us, so I tagged along with them. Although they're faster than me, it was great to run "with" them (we stayed together for a little bit, but then they pulled ahead, and I caboosed it behind them). We ran a few more miles around the area and made the way back to the park, and headed back to our meeting spot. I still had a couple miles I had to put in, so I did an extra 2 mile loop, then hung out with the teammates who were still hanging around the parking lot.
10.09 Miles - 1:44:11 - 10:19 pace
First time for everything: I've been trying to learn how to fuel properly during long runs, so I tried something new today. I did my normal Clif Bar & berries (my grocery store always puts together a great blend of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) about an hour before the run. I took a few Shot Blocks about a half hour before the run, and had my water ready to go on my belt. During the run, I had some Jelly Belly Sport Beans at about the half way point, and I felt a huge second wind after that. In fact, my second half of this 10 miler was faster than the first half, something that rarely happens with my long runs. I think I am getting the hang of some of this fueling stuff, and I'm excited to experiment with a few more things over the next couple months
Real Talk: I've been reading and hearing more about this sense to gloss over the negative and having everything seem too good to be true. My friend Amma wrote a great post about the "Highlight reel syndrome" that helps explain this. I've had a lot of friends involved in different aspects of the fitness world talk to me about how nobody talks about the difficult, painful, and strenuous moments, so that's what frustrates a lot of people. People don't realize getting from Point A to Point B mostly sucks. That's the truth. And Point B is worth it so everything in between becomes tolerable, but nobody sees it.
So my vow is to share all of my story - my successes AND failures. My joys and pains. Fortunately, everything up to this point has gone exceedingly well that it's actually surprised me. But the real talk from today's run is brought to you by my knees. For those of you who don't know, I have bad knees. I even had surgery on one when I was in high school. That has led to a lot of hesitation and recommendations to not be a runner. Which I obviously ignore (oops!). But I have this lingering "issue." I use the word issue loosely because it hasn't been a detriment, more so just a nuisance. While I run, my knee (my GOOD knee in fact) starts to get this pain right at the patella. I only feel it about mile 5/6 and beyond, it doesn't affect the run, and I don't feel any pain after. Some have thrown out the term "runner's knee." Some say it may have to do with form. Some say running long distances just naturally hurts a little. But my plan is to hopefully figure out more about this and see what I have to do about it.
I love our team! Such great people, stories, and inspiration all around me. I know this program pushes me out of my comfort zone a little, but it's been great having a team of all abilities offering support to each other. I can't wait to keep getting to know everyone, and see them all conquer their goals! :)