Friday, July 16, 2010

Another Thirsty Thursday

Last night was my second opportunity to run the local Thirsty Thursday 5K, and I was blessed to be joined by a friend from church, April. She and I ran together when we went camping over Memorial Day and I had told her then about this race series. Having run on her own for a couple of years now, I was thrilled that she could come out for the race. Not that we are running to "win" anything, but having a specific goal in view and participating in an event makes the running more fun. And at least for me, it keeps me feeling accountable when I'd rather not lace on my shoes and head out the door. And, there's a t-shirt. Proof.

So we met at 6 to register for the race. April's husband Bill was there and I brought Erin to root for us, run the camera, and hold stuff for me. After we'd finished the paperwork and I showed April how to pin her number on we spotted another friend, Steve, whose wife goes to church with us and both of whom camp with the group on Memorial Day weekend. Steve is a real outdoorsy adventure seeker, having climbed mountains that the rest of us read about, so we didn't expect to see him until after the race was over.

Last night was far warmer than last month's race, and only about half the people turned out than before. This made for a less crowded start, which was a lot easier. Once we were off I pushed myself harder at the beginning than I had before and was feeling good for about the first mile. But, even in the shade, the heat was getting to me. I haven't been training as I should, and right before the half-way turn around point I slowed to walk for a brief interval. When I felt April's encouraging pat on the back it was all I needed to pick up the pace and run again.

I walked a second time for a bit, until April caught up, and then we ran the rest of the way together. At the very end I pushed it a bit again, running on the strength of my arms, focusing on them and not my tired legs or screaming lungs, and finished in 32:41, one second slower than my first 5K in April.

April came in right behind me and we found our cheering team. A towel for my dripping face, some water to cool me down, beer and a pretzel to fortify myself, and it was time to go. I don't know if I'll run the August race if the heat is still so high, but I'll definitely aim for the September run. Meanwhile I need to bump my training up if I'm going to improve my distances. Walking on the days that I don't run may help, and gradually lengthening my run distances certainly will. Erin is running hills once a week for strength with the team, and I certainly have plenty of those to choose from here.

I just came in from a brisk walk this morning and stretched just as I do when I run. Time to jump into the rest of my day.

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