The kids stayed the night at my parents' house last night, so I planned to run as soon as I got up this morning. I wanted to get my run done before 10:00, because I was hoping to stalk Thomas during his second marathon (using live tracking). His marathon started at 7:00 (Pacific time), which was 10:00 for me(Eastern time).
I couldn't stand the thought of running the same old routes that I always do around here, so I decided I was going to drive somewhere for a change of scenery. I ended up parking at the high school by the Metropark. Usually, when I park there, I end up running into the Metropark; but today, I chose the opposite direction, just for something different. It didn't seem very windy outside, so I just hoped it stayed that way. I was comfortable in capris and a t-shirt. I ended up getting a late start, but thought I could still be done close to 10:00.
Within seconds of the moment I started running on the bike path, I saw a huge group of cyclists coming toward me. I never see that many people on the path, even spread out through the whole route, let alone in a pack. We exchanged "Good morning"'s as we passed each other, and I kept running. And the bikes kept coming.
I noticed that they had numbers pinned to their backs, so I assumed it was some sort of race or cycling club or something. (I later did a google search, and discovered it was the Metro Grand Spring Tour put on by the Downriver Cycling Club.) Seeing the cyclists made the time go by so fast--there were probably about 120 of them total?
It also made my pace a little too fast! I'm supposed to do my long runs at a 9:53/mile pace, and I was definitely going faster than that. In the second mile, I had to run on an overpass, which, to me, felt like a mountain. I'm not used to hills! I did an out-and-back route, so I had to do the overpass twice.
I like this route, because there is a little bit of everything to see. I went over the overpass, and then through the woods, and then along a pretty busy road. Once I saw the first couple of splits were 9:16 and 9:15, I decided to try and keep my pace under 9:30. But each mile, I ended up doing a bit faster than that. I started to do the math in my head, to see if I could finish my run before Thomas started his marathon at 10:00 (EST). It would be close, but it would be a fun challenge to try.
I was almost expecting to crash, especially when I saw splits of 9:05 and 9:06. But I kept on running, and seeing the cyclists pass was making the mileage fly by. A couple of the cyclists were looking at a map, at an intersection, and they were really confused about which way to go. So I helped them figure it out, and then I was only a mile from my car.
Because I was greeting the cyclists who were passing me, I wasn't paying much attention to my pace, and I finished mile 9 in 8:58. Then I realized that I had about 9 minutes until Thomas's marathon started, so I decided to go for another sub-9:00 mile. I got to my car just in time, at 9:59 ;)
I finished with a 9:08 pace, which (if I were running a half-marathon) would have been a sub-2:00 finish time. I feel really good about that! I feel more confident that I could probably pull off a sub-2:00 if I wanted (NOT for the Heartbreak Hill Half, though--I'll be lucky if I hit 2:15 for that one!).
I was super thirsty, and a diet root beer sounded SO good (there is an A&W near where I parked). There were too many cyclists along the road for me to turn into the A&W (safely, anyway), so I just drove home, skipping the root beer. My legs felt a little bit sore, so I am definitely going to take it very easy on tomorrow's run.
When I got home, I took a quick shower and then checked the marathon website to see how Thomas was doing. He hadn't hit the first checkpoint, which was 8 miles in, so I thought, "Oh no! What happened?" It wasn't until THEN that I noticed the race didn't start until 8:30 (Pacific), NOT 7:00, like I'd thought. Oh, well, at least it lit a fire under me to run faster today ;)
This afternoon, I went to a fundraiser for my friend Sarah's children. She's the one who died from melanoma in March. There was a craft show/bake sale/raffle today, and the proceeds would go to her kids. I went with Noah and Eli, and we bought a bunch of raffle tickets. The kids loved choosing where to place their tickets--hopefully, they win something! The fundraiser seemed to have a great turnout, so I'm happy that Sarah's kids will benefit from it.
The past couple of days have seemed SO long. It's been really, really hard to not have any sweets. Normally, on my long run day each week, I get some sort of treat--a big cookie, or some ice cream, or something like that. Today, I felt disappointed that I couldn't get anything. I had been planning to get a hot pretzel from the mall, but once I finished my run, a pretzel just didn't sound good; I wanted ice cream! May is going to go by so, so slowly ;)