A few weeks ago, I felt SO sure I was getting sick. My throat was sore, I had a headache, and just felt kind of "off". I never did get sick, which is awesome. But yesterday, I started feeling those symptoms again. I really don't want to be sick this weekend! I hope it's just another false alarm.
For a while yesterday, I kept thinking I was feeling bad because of my run. I ran three miles in the morning, and I pushed the pace a bit for the last mile. I ran the first mile in 9:36, and my throat was a little dry and sore--I just assumed it was from the running. I was hoping to do negative splits, so I tried to hold that pace, and finished the second mile in 9:35. Then, the last mile, I was aiming for 9:20 or faster. With about 0.15 mile left, I saw that my pace was 9:10/mi, so I decided to push it and try to hit a sub-9:00.
When the Garmin beeped, I looked down, feeling hopeful--it said 9:02.5. So close! I'm sure if I went out with the intention of running a sub-9:00, I could do it right now. I never would have said that three months ago!
At yesterday's cross country practice, I wanted to try a new game. It's been hard to keep thinking up new ways to keep the kids interested in running! I ended up dividing them into relay teams of 5 or 6. Then I ran about 100 meters away from the teams, and held a deck of memory cards. (I bought the cards at the dollar store--they each have an animal on them, and there is a match for each card.)
The idea was for the kids to run (relay style) to me, and take a card, then run the card back to their team. Then the next runner would run and grab a card, and bring it back to the team. And so on, until all the cards were gone. The object was to see which team could get the most matches (and obviously, the faster you run, the more cards your team can collect). Some of it was luck (not knowing which card they were going to get), but the kids really loved playing!
I still have a couple of puzzles that I was planning to do something similar with. Maybe have them run up the hill to get a puzzle piece, then run it back down to their team, relay style. Whichever team gets their puzzle together first, wins. It's been really windy, though, so that may not work well ;)
Today at practice, we did a time trial identical to the one we did on the first day of practice. On that first day, I told them to run one loop of the park (0.38 miles) as fast as they could; and then I marked down their times. Today, they did the same thing. I marked their times again, and calculated the improvement. All but two kids improved their time! Our fastest runner (Renee's son, Ben) shaved off four seconds, which doesn't sound like much, but considering he's so fast, that is a great improvement for just four weeks. One of the girls shaved off over two whole minutes!
I've been thinking about how much I love coaching, and I decided I want to continue to coach some of the kids through the winter. I think I'll invite about ten of the kids (the ones who take it a little more seriously and actually enjoy the running part, haha) to continue to meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings to practice. Renee said she'd definitely be interested in continuing as well. I think it would be a good way for me to get out and be active during the winter, too--I can do my runs at the same time as the kids.
Anyway, I've got a super busy week ahead of me. Tomorrow, I'll definitely post my weigh-in, but I'm not sure how much I'll be posting between Thursday and Monday. I'm excited about my weigh-in tomorrow, because I had a nice surprise on the scale today ;)