I had a great run tonight after work on my usual trail with friend and co-worker, Lauren (who ran her first 5K with me earlier this year). It wasn't planned...sometime mid-afternoon she came in my office and said "you have to motivate me to go to the gym after work"...knowing I had a 3 miler (give or take) planned for this evening (her usual distance when she runs), I asked if she would like to come along and luckily she said yes! I am not a social runner, so I was a bit apprehensive, but I feel like I'm getting stronger and this is a new way to stretch myself. It was HOT (90+ degrees) after work and technical part of the trail is kind of tough, IMO, but she (we) did great! I'm not a coach, but would love to have the training/knowledge one day when I get a bit more time. I made sure NOT to ask "are you OK?", but instead would say things like "we are rocking this" or start random conversation when I could tell energy was waning. I let her know when we had less than .5 to go and even asked if she was willing to sprint when the end of the trail was in sight. It was SUCH a great time running with someone else...I hope she had just as much fun! (She said that I kicked her ass but in a good way!) How do you like to be motivated when you run? What do you dislike?
I had my first "medium long run" before work the other morning...set off in the pitch black at 5:15am for a 6 miler (not the norm for me, but you do what you have to do) and I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. (I look at it as good training for Disney!) I was SHOCKED at how many people I saw out and about though (more than what I see on the weekend!) and even how many were on my "scary" 6 lane hwy! It was SO peaceful though and amazing to be looping around the lake, watching the sun come up and the geese flock in. I love Star Lake (which is in my neighborhood)...it's so picturesque at all times of day and year...and feel fortunate to have many options for running close by.
And I know this may sound strange, but I am unbelievably excited for my 12 miler this weekend (and have been since I put the training schedule together)! I am headed down to "the loveliest village on the plains" tomorrow after work for game weekend. I am staying with my favorite aunt and hope to be out by 5:15 (5:30 at the latest) for a route *kind of* similar to this week's AORTA Saturday plan. I want to go a bit more through campus and loop by Matt's friend's house (approx halfway) so that I have a place to rehydrate (and go to the bathroom if needed). ESPN's Gameday is being held at Auburn this weekend, so I am a little wary of potential hecklers around campus but I hope by getting out early enough I can avoid most of the madness. My aunt and I actually have ideas for a sign and plan to go up to campus for the broadcast once I am showered and caffeinated :) Then joining up with Matt for tailgating, visiting with my parents and "second parents" and HOPEFULLY getting into the game that evening. It's going to be a busy and quick weekend but I LOVE football and fall (even though it's not very fall-like around here yet) and always look forward to visiting my hometown during this time of year. Let's hope I can manage to get out of work a little early tomorrow and get the weekend started a little early :)