Edited to add: I almost forgot!! I saw a rainbow Saturday morning. If I hadn't been running slower with M, I would have missed it. I am so thankful for that!
Saturday was weird. I woke up on time to meet the girls for a 6:00 a.m. 7 mile run. But I think I wasn't quite fully awake. See, I put on the wrong shoes, but I didn't realize it until we were a few meters into the run and I thought "better turn that nike+ thing on ~ don't want to miss out on logging this great run!" And guess what? It couldn't find my sensor. Know why? That's right. There was no sensor. I'd put on my Nike's but had my sensor in the shoe wallet on my Asics. Okay, so I'm a spaz.
So we were rocking right along ~ Trish and I discussing how we're going to continue motivating ourselves and each other ~ and I looked at my garmin and saw that we'd only gone 1.37 miles. What the hell? It felt like we'd been running forever. That's when Trish said we'd gone almost 2.5 miles and were 35 minutes into the run. My garmin showed a 20 minute run thus far. Clearly I was more of a spaz than could have been anticipated that morning and somewhere along the way I hit the stop button. That meant my nice 7 mile run wasn't even going to record properly on my garmin. Could I not catch a break??? just a little one???
Anyway, off we went to the turnaround point where we stopped to stretch. I felt surprisingly good. We had jogged at a slow enough pace that it felt comfortable for that "long-slow-run" day. Here's where things got a bit hinky though.
A few of the group came up as most of us had finished stretching. Rather than head off with the larger group I stayed behind to stretch with one of the gals and then we took off. She was struggling a bit so we went slower than I might have done alone and certainly slower than the rest of the group. We had a really good talk about motivation and continuing to run even when you think you suck. For instance, going that slowly felt to both of us like "wow, we suck at this" but one could argue that just being out there qualified us for as non-suckers. Or something like that. During the course of our conversation, we realized that we both tend to try to overdo things. From having been athletic in the past, it's a struggle to admit that a few decades and couple of babies later and we're no longer capable of the same things. That doesn't, however, mean we need to lie down and give up, right?
Giving up seems to have been what we've both done in the past. We made a pact that we wouldn't get down on ourselves for moving slower than others, and instead, we'll consider it a victory to continue.
Okay, that all sounds good but at the end of the run I felt like the 7 miles had been easy. Partly because of the squats and lunges I'd done during the week ~ my legs felt strong. But also because we moved so slowly on the way back that I felt like the second half of the workout was negated. I mean, you can't actually cover 3.5 miles and have it count for nothing, can you? And there was no way in the world I was going to leave her behind. Even though the path is well-lit and there were tons of people out there, you just don't leave someone behind. Especially when that someone is mentally struggling to continue.
So I'm glad I hung back with her. I was able to get to know a really nice person by doing it, and it's the sort of thing that I would have wanted someone to do for me. Knowing how I can't just accept things as-is, I worry that this could be something I allow to become a repeat event. The only downside to that is my not being fully prepared to run the marathon in under 6 hours. If I go too slowly on the Saturday runs, will I be able to pull it together on the big day? I mean, I like helping others but I didn't volunteer to coach. I'm actually out there trying to improve my own running and ..... wow, I sound like a witch, don't I?
I think that I'll just have to step up my weekday runs so that if our group coaches aren't able to accommodate all the runners in our group, I can do it again, if needed. That way I can meet both goals ~ improve my running and maintain my ability to face myself in the mirror.