Tuesday, September 30, 2014

That cookie runner

I woke up at around 4:00 this morning to thunder and lightening, so I decided that I would do my run tonight instead of in the morning. Once I took the kids to their bus stops, though, the weather was absolutely PERFECT for a run. It was 54 degrees, overcast, and an occasional very light drizzle of rain. If there was ever perfect running weather, this was it.

I put on capris and a short sleeved shirt, which was the right choice for the weather. I decided not to look at my Garmin at all (not even a little peek) through the run. I didn't want to see a slow pace and feel discouraged for any reason, so I just wanted to run without giving a thought to my pace at all. As soon as stepped from my driveway onto the street, a man on a bike went by in the opposite direction. We exchanged "good morning"'s , and then I kept going.

About a mile in, I saw the same man on the bike. This time we said, "hello", as we passed. Seeing someone once is no big deal; twice is slightly awkward, because you've already exchanged greetings. But then I saw him AGAIN at around mile three. This time, he stopped and said, "Hey, you're that cookie runner, right?" I laughed and said I was. We chatted for a minute, and I learned his name was Greg. He had seen Stephanie's blog because they are both self-proclaimed "weather geeks", and found my blog through hers, which is how he recognized me. That was fun! Usually, one or two people will recognize me at a race, but never while I'm just out for a run.

I had an absolutely fantastic run today! I didn't look at my pace, but I imagined it was probably around 10:00/mile, which was fine. But what made it so great was the weather and that I just had a good day. Some runs are good, some are okay, and some are terrible, but today's felt really, really good. When I heard my Garmin beep after mile five, I pressed the button to stop it, and then I just sat on my porch for a few minutes while I cooled down.

My average pace ended up being 9:35/mile, which really surprised me (in a good way). I was even more surprised to see my splits, and how close they were without even trying.

I'm hoping for identical weather on Friday for my long run! (Oh, I am not doing that half-marathon on Saturday with Nathan after all... I forgot that Noah has a cross country invitational that day.)

I had plans to meet Jessica for lunch at a new local restaurant called Public House. They use all fresh, local ingredients, which is very refreshing for this area. I hadn't tried it yet, but Jessica said it was great. It was good to see her, because it's been a long time since we've gotten together. I've had such a busy few months that I haven't really seen any of my friends for a while, so it was nice to catch up. The food was good, too! We split an order of fried pickles (my favorite appetizer) and they were awesome.

Shortly before we left, a couple of young soldiers walked in wearing their uniforms. After seeing everything my younger brother went through, I have a special place in my heart for young guys in the military, so I paid their tab before I left. (A "pay it forward" from the stranger who gave us those tickets to the Renaissance Festival on Friday!)

Noah had his second cross country invitational today. The weather was definitely better for running today, so I was curious to see how he'd do. I picked him up from school, and then picked up Eli, and we drove to the meet. The ground there was much softer than at the last meet, and the grass was longer, so I was a little worried for Noah having to run on that. He said he was really nervous.

His race today was only 1 mile (it was 1.3 last time). Eli and I went to the starting line to see him off, and then we rushed to the finish line. The kids started coming it at the six-minute mark. I was expecting Noah between the 9:00-11:00 timeframe, based on his last race. He came in at around 10:45-ish (I don't have the official results yet). He wasn't very happy, and said he was "almost dead last". It didn't help that his friend on the team came up and told him that he (Noah) finished in 118th place (while the friend finished in the top 20 or so). This kid is super competitive, and always makes Noah feel bad about his running pace.

I told Noah that he did awesome--he finished in 10:45-ish, which is much faster than he was just a couple of weeks ago. And due to the course being more difficult (soft ground, longer grass), he should be very proud. It's hard to get him to see the value of improving his pace over keeping up with his friend.

I laughed when I saw the photos I took of him. He apparently takes after his mom in race photos--his eyes were closed in all of them!

His next invitational is on Saturday, so I hope that he has a great race. My older brother is supposed to come out and watch :)