Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day 1: Training Begins

I love training.  The energy -- physical, mental, and probably as close as I ever get to spiritual -- in running with a group is honestly something I have never replicated in another area of my life.

This morning I woke up a little after 6 for our first training run of the season at 7:30.  This is honestly a late start, because as the Houston summer gets underway and our runs get longer, we'll try to be done with lengths as long as 21 miles before the sun comes up.  That will often mean starting as early as 5 a.m.  Early, yes, but critical in the Houston heat.

Last year, in the midst of my longer runs, sometimes I wouldn't make it back to my car before the sun completely rose.  I'd watch it peaking up, and start getting panicked.  It was hot enough -- 85+ degrees -- in complete darkness.  At this point I'd be hours into the run, and I would actually try to run faster.  Like Peer Gynt escaping from the Hall of the Mountain King, I'd push on, faster, until finally I'd hit the reprieve and safety of the finish.  The shade.  The end.  I do imagine this year will be like that, too.

Anyway, the weather isn't like that quite yet, and we were able to start our run well after the sun rose with no issues.  Since we were just doing 3 miles, I didn't even bring water.

The group I'm training with this year, Houston FIT, is a little different from last year's group, Team In Training.  It's larger, so we split up into timed groups.  This morning I ran with the 9-10 minute-per-mile group, which felt somewhere between good and challenging.  We don't stop or take water breaks, so I'll have to get a belt to carry my own water.  I met a few people who are also training for New York (yay!) and embarrassingly felt so inspired by the morning introductory motivational speeches that I maybe just a little teared up.  Fun fact: Marathon training does that to me.  Sheesh, it's a big deal, okay?

The best part of training?  Enjoying a post-run espresso while I watch my neighborhood wake up.

Day 1, by the numbers:
3.06 - number of miles we ran today
28:24 - number of minutes and seconds it took
9:17 - my pace per mile (if I did the math right -- maybe a little too fast if I wanna keep this up over the long haul)
12 - number of people in my pace group
10 - excitement level post run!

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