Saturday, March 19, 2011

21 Miles

When I stepped outside this morning the moon was shining brilliantly.  I could easily see my shadow as I started to run to the store. The plan was to run to the store, meet up with the Saturday morning running group, and then possibly run back home with Rick. I chose the 6 mile route to the store and started to make my way around our neighborhood.  The temperature was 26°, but the wind was at a brisk 16 miles per hour. As I headed west I watched a cloud appear to move in and glide past the moon and I wondered, was the cloud really moving, or had I just moved underneath it as I ran. A bit later I heard an odd noise off in the distance, I wasn't sure if it was the wind whipping through the trees or maybe a dog.  A couple minutes later I heard it again and thought it might be geese honking.  At this point I looked up and over the city and saw a pale yellow color in the sky. The reflected light of the city looks nothing the colors of a sunrise.  Turning back to look at the moon I thought it looked much more like a sunrise. Running down Veterans I saw a number of mice that had lost their hiding places as the snow melted this past week, as I approached them they would scurry off into the dark.  The last mile to the store was fairly uneventful, some ice had built up on this sidewalk since Thursday when I last ran this route and I had to slow down occasionally.

Reaching the store with 6 miles already done I could see that we had a great turnout today, the store was mostly filled and we still had about 15 minutes before we'd head out.  I waited to use the bathroom, ate a few shot blocks, and talked with a few people before heading back out with the group.  This weeks route was a little odd, the full marathoners ran a 5 mile loop 3 times, the half marathoners would run a 4 mile loop twice, and the 10k runners would just do an out and back. Us back of the pack runners quickly formed our group consisting of Rick, Kristy, Kris, Maria, Erik, and myself.  We ran the first loop as the course was marked and arrived back at the store for the first rest stop. I had decided this would be where I would take in the majority of my calories and had brought a snickers along, but it had partially frozen in my pocket. It took longer then I thought it would to eat it, and down a 5 hour energy and I had to catch back up to my group. The second loop I modified so that we wouldn't run as much on the sidewalk on 13th Avenue where it was icy and out on road on 17th Avenue where traffic was starting to pick up. The consensus when we got back to the store was to repeat the route we took the second loop but on the third loop we'd run it backwards. Kris and Maria had headed out about a minute before the rest of us and Kristy pushed to catch up with them leaving Erik, Rick and I slowing playing catch up ourselves.  We had an interesting conversation about the importance of doing things to alleviate chaffing and different strategies to avoid it over the mile or so it took us to catch up to the women. The third loop passed quickly and soon we were on the home stretch.  Erik and Kristy started to push the pace and I felt good enough to want to keep up with them but I decided to hold back to be able to run home with Rick.  When we got back to the store I talked with Rick and we decided that 21 miles would be enough for me today if I was going to get another run in on Sunday.  We hung out at the store for a bit chatting before Erin dropped by to pick me up and the mornings adventure was over.

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