Even on my rest days, though, Joey needs exercise, so I decided to take him on a walk at the State Park. I didn't want to walk far, so I chose to do a path that is about two miles around. The sun was shining, and it put a little pep in my step, so when I approached the path that went down the pier, I decided to take that little detour.
This was a part of the park that I'd never explored before. I remember being at the beach with my family (including my grandma, who was in a wheelchair, so it was probably 1998-ish? She died from Alzheimers in 1999). I remember my family deciding to take a walk on the pier, and pushing my grandma in the wheelchair; but at the time, I was overweight and it was a hot day, and those two things just aren't much fun when it comes to exercise, even if it was just a stroll. I decided not to go, and I stayed at the beach.
For all these years, I had these negative feelings associated with that pier! It sounds so stupid, but I just never had the desire to explore it, because it reminded me of that hot day when I was too lazy to walk it. (From the path that I usually run, you can't really see the pier; you can only see a couple hundred feet before it curves, so the whole pier was a mystery to me.)
Anyway, I was feeling so good while I was walking Joey, that I didn't even hesitate to turn onto the path to go on the pier. And it didn't take much to see how much I'd been missing all these years! It was a fantastic walk. I took a bunch of pictures, of course, which don't do it justice...
I've seen Lake Erie ten thousand times, but it just looked exceptionally pretty from that angle. The walk to the end of the pier was about a half-mile.
This morning, my calves were still sore, but I decided to just run and hope that running would help them to feel better. I took Joey to the State Park again (I like running there with him, because there isn't any traffic to worry about). I had 4.5 miles on the schedule, so I did my typical 5-mile route and just threw in a little shortcut.
The first quarter mile or so was rough because of my sore calves, but once I got warmed up the soreness went away. When my watch beeped at a mile, I was surprised to see our pace was sub-10:00. Usually, when I run with Joey, the pace is pretty consistent between 10:00 and 10:30. When I saw that, I felt determined to keep it up for the remainder of the run.
It was kind of funny, because there were a few times where I could feel myself starting to slow down, and then Joey would see a bird or squirrel ahead, and basically throw me into a sprint for a few seconds, haha. It wasn't an easy run, but it wasn't super hard, either. I'm actually really happy with my pace, considering my seven-week hiatus from running this year! (That last half mile was kind of killer, though.)
I've been thinking about my focus for Indy. A PR is totally off the table, as that would require an 8:30-ish pace, and I'm not delusional. My next thought was a course PR. When I ran this race in 2011, I finished in 2:10:40; so, I could aim for a time better than that, which would be a 9:58 pace. OR, and this is something I've always wanted to do during this particular race, I could run very easy, and take pictures along the course.
Whenever I've done this race, I haven't had a camera (that was before my iPhone), and there were so many cool shirts and bands and spectators that I wanted to snap pictures of along the course. I could probably still do that and maintain a sub-10:00 pace, but it wouldn't be easy. So, I'm not sure which would mean more to me--pushing myself for the course PR, or taking the pictures along the course. (Now that I type that out, I am leaning toward the pictures...). Or, who knows? Maybe a 9:50 pace will feel easy by then, and I can do both! ;) (Although, it's less than five weeks away now. I'm so excited!!)