This is going to be a long post - and for mostly good reasons!
Friday night was the set-up for the Fit n' Fun event I mentioned previously. It was really a team effort. Even Chasen helped! (loading and transporting tables and chairs) I was a bit anxious about the event itself (the turnout, really) and didn't sleep continuously that night. But it was indeed a success! It is amazing to see the positive things that can happen when a bunch of people are on the same page about a goal and are agreeable to make it happen. Over 60 kids, for sure, came and enjoyed the fun. I manned to free throw area for the whole event. It was very cute to see the itty bitty kids try their best.
Sometime during the event I was trying to pop my ankle. FYI, every joint on my body will creak and pop. I am just that way. And actually, some of them have been popping since I was a little kid. LOTS more, though, have taken up the habit since becoming a runner. Well, this time when I popped my ankle (which was feeling necessary -- I don't go looking for trouble!) something went awry. I thought "oh no" and hoped for the best. Last night it was sore. I was a bit worried, but knew that I'd probably be OK.
For my group run today, I was supposed to bring some food for the post-run picnic. I chose "Classic Chilled Potato Salad" from runnersworld.com. Chasen sampled it and gave it two thumbs up. And it was easy to make. I hoped the other liked it!
Due to either being too excited for today's run or too worried about my ankle/foot/toes/leg (pain travels, you know) I could not get to sleep. I at least was able to get lots more of "Duel In The Sun" read.
I was up at 5 AM. I needed to leave at 6 or a bit after to meet them at 6:45. I showered and began loading the supplies. You'd think I was going camping with as much stuff as I felt like I was taking! I had a huge ice chest filled with water bottles (leftover from the event yesterday - yay!), the potato salad and fresh cantaloupe. Bring on that picnic!
I arrived at the Skate Park amongst the River Trail (by the Arkansas River) and there were two boys skateboarding - at 6:35 AM. Whoa. They must be crazy as runners. Well guess what. It was 57 degrees outside! That's right, 57. I wanted to warm-up a bit before the group finished their 5 miler and met me, but it was so cold that I literally put on a new jacket I had purchased yesterday - with the tag on and all. Just call me the Minnie Pearl of running.
Soon Annette's husband, Arland, arrived to join the group, also. The group is from Cabot, Arkansas and is officially called "The Cabot Cruisers." Well, all I wanted today was to NOT be the Benton Bonker. HA!
The next thing I knew, three women came flying up the road. Uh-oh, I thought -- they are going to leave me in the dust! This will be challenging. Shortly after them came Annette and another woman. Oh thank goodness - MAYBE I can hang with them. Everyone said "You must be Susan from Benton." Annette's mate, Kelly, was only doing the first 5 miles, so she departed. So the 6 of us headed out for 15 miles (they all needed to do 20 today for Chicago training, except Arland, who had to do 16).
Well we were going fast, but I was keeping up like a champion. Brenda is trying to qualify for Boston. Oh my! And I was keeping up with her. She is a speedy one! I told her I was going to call her Boston Betty. She laughed. And Paulette has also done multiple marathons. Also a speed demon. And Michelle was just as fast. I thought "oh boy - let's see how this goes." The thing about today was all of the situations were different and new for me: running in the cold, running with a group, running without music, etc. So many posts lately have been urging us to shake things up a bit; I feel I put myself in a blender! :)
We were going to run out 7.5 and then run back. I did NOT know that included running over the Big Dam Bridge! But it did. Just before the bridge we stopped at the park's port-a-potties. That is a luxury I just don't have running out in the boonies! Here is the bridge... or at least the first 2/3 of it.
Annette and I walked a bit towards it before running up it (if I remember correctly). The two other speed demons had left us in the dust (Paulette didn't need to do 20 today). Oh well!
In my haste to get ready this morning, I forgot to make and pack my in-flight fuel. So Annette gave me some Hammer Gel. You know what? I LOVED it. So easy. I am going to purchase some ASAP. I took half a packet just before the bridge.
After the bridge Annette and I stopped before the turnaround for me to make another pit stop at another rest area. Then after the turnaround she made a pitstop. Oh the luxury of city running!
I was seriously having the fastest longrun EVER. Ever. EVER! So when we approached the bridge from the other side, Annette urged me to go ahead without her. Well I TOOK that ole bridge! I ran all the way up. Annette said I looked very strong. Thanks!
So we were in the home stretch now. With about 5 miles to go, I took the rest of the gel. I think I needed more, but oh well. We were still doing well, but weren't quite as speedy. We met back up with Arland. Soon, another member, Cheryl, ran out to join us.
By mile 12 I was fatigued, but all I had to do was finish up. There were about 3 more small hills to do. While running with Annette (because we flip-flopped with the togetherness at times) I TOOK another small hill. She said I was a hill runner is disguise. And she said I had been sand-bagging about being slow. Ha! That really, really made my day. She also said that she was going to change my name to Susan Hill. :) Chasen said I could be Hill Billie once I got home. HA HA!
Finally I got done. 15 miles - poof! Gosh the better weather helped. Brenda, aka Boston Betty, picked up a seemingly dumped-off black puppy 2 miles from our picnic area. She literally carried her for the last 2 miles. She decided that her name will be Finisher, but she'll call her Finnie for short. Awwwww!
We had quite a spread, and my potato salad was a hit. Here are the Cabot Cruisers: (L-R) Brenda, Michelle, Annette, Cheryl, Arland, Finnie (at his feet asleep)
It really was the fastest longer-distance longrun I think I have ever done. I was super thankful to be a part of it today. We even have plans for run together again. Some will come and do part of my 22 miler with me at the end of October. I am going to try to run with them 2 weeks from now, also.
Mile 1: 10:25
Mile 2: 10:53
Mile 3: 10:26
Mile 4: 11:16
Mile 5: 10:22
Mile 6: 11:17
Mile 7: 12:30 (probably headed up the bridge)
Mile 8: 11:52 (straightaway to the rest area)
Mile 9: 14:05 (major walking break after the stop)
Mile 10: 12:25 (inclusive of flying over the bridge!!!)
Mile 11: 12:16
Mile 12: 11:55
Mile 13: 13:03
Mile 14: 11:35
Mile 15: 12:03
Total: 2:56:30 (UNDER three hours!)
Average: 11:46 per mile (!!!), 169 beats per minute
Now, on to the less-pleasant. Yesterday Chasen determined that we had a water leak in our one-year-old new plumbing for our remodeled master bathroom. He heard it running while grilling out last night as the Arkansas Razorbacks almost whooped the Alabama Crimson Tide. So when I called him as I was leaving everyone, he said "Bad news. There is mold and the carpet is buckling up." That is my NEW CARPET, mind you. And my NEW wet wall for my NEW beautiful bathroom. Ugh. This is what I came home to find: And here is a close-up:
AND my foot was a bit painful. So I iced it. OUCH. But I think it did it some good. I'll monitor it until Tuesday which is when I am plan to run next.
To end on a better note, I received an e-mail from my friend Susan K. She ran/walked her first race! She did a 4-mile race with an average pace of 13:27. That is AWESOME!!! She thanked me for inspiring her. Awww! And she plans to train for a 5.5 mile trail run. Wow! Go girl!
That's all, folks. The foot/ankle/toes/leg is doing better after a nap.