Today's run was decent. I tweeted something about it not being pretty (to which my philosopher $Bill responded with "pretty is for models, runners prefer dirty") but I got the mileage in.
I got a late start because I love sleep, I love my bed, and I love to "be idle"...I like to check my mail, see facebook, look at my Words with Friends, read the news, yadda yadda yadda. I like to take my sweeeeeet time, especially before going to work or running. FYI: this drives my husband BATTY!
I decided to start near Shenck Forest and take the path into Umstead from there. This was a pretty good choice as I ran upwards for most of the route, except the wonderful downward trail towards the spillway. But that would be on the way back so that's another "person" and another "time". I'll let my other persona - person running the last 3.5 back - deal with that later. Anyway, going back would be less hilly. The bad thing that I didn't consider beforehand is: the trail back to Shenck Forest is not shaded so I was in the blazing late morning sun. That's my bad for starting out so late...
I did something I haven't done in years: I ran with my sports bra. I figured the morning tummy is a little flatter than the afternoon tummy and my water belt could shield a few things to passerbys. BTW, you men do it all the time, no matter what shape you are in, or how much hair you have hanging off your back, so why not? WHY THE FUCK NOT?! :)
I kept my pace slower than usual and started to feel bad about it until I became focused on my heart rate. I was running in the 160s initially and I couldn't believe it. I thought "I need to speed up that's too low of a heart rate!" but it really isn't. It is for me, on average, but I thought: why don't I try running at a lower heart rate? In fact, I just read about a young guy who died when trying out for track...they believe it was due to an elevated heart rate.
However, it is hard to run Umstead (the hills) and seven miles (for me, who is on a rapid training plan to up my mileage before my half in October) without elevating the heart rate. Throw in sunshine, heat and humidity and you can just be screwed. I did pretty good, kicking my heels up the S hill (I knew I would be running back down it :)) and inching at only 191. That may seem high to a lot of you but for me, that is usually my heart rate during an entire long run. I top 200s quite often.
Heading back for the last half I felt pretty weary. I think runners always question themselves: is my body weary or is it all mental? Either way, I took a few walk breaks. I decided to take on the long hill after passing the turn to the spillway and was in the zone when I heard an unusual amount of noise outside of my zone. I looked over and my BFFs Salman, Niki and Mark were there. I stopped to chat, where they are like "no, no no no! don't let us interrupt your run!" (they are runners too...we all know the spiel). I'm thinking to myself: are you fucking crazy? Do you see this stinking hill??? But instead I greeted them because it was indeed wonderful to see them...and their beautiful girls, Clare and Sofie.
It was a nice break. I found my second wind to finish off my seven miles...job well done, if I may say so myself.