BAMF long run

If I haven’t mentioned this before- I live in North Carolina. We get drastic weather changes this time of year. Friday night it was 65 degrees. We were all wearing dresses and eating outside and driving with our windows down…

So hearing there was a “winter advisory” for Saturday afternoon made me laugh. I was skeptical we’d get any wintry mix.

I had a morning training run, which I mentor the 10-11:00 pace people for 6 miles. I then mapped out a run through Umstead, into the neighborhood I grew up in- 8 or 9 miles more. It rained during all of the first lap,but was in the lower 40’s. It was cold and miserable, but bearable.

I finished up with my group, and saw Dan pull into the parking lot. I said goodbye and we took off for another ~8 miles. We went about three miles through Umstead, which was starting to get slushy. (Umstead is a 5000+ acre park in Raleigh that is perfect for cycling, running, hiking, or riding horses. There are legit trails, but we didn’t run these. To give you an idea of its size- they run a 100-mile race here in a few laps through the park every spring).

We got out of Umstead and onto the country roads near NCSU’s vet school (it’s so country but about 10 minutes from downtown). There was no sidewalk, so we were just running through the rainy puddly street. When Dan says “Hey, look it’s freezing rain” Then a couple minutes later “Oh, that’s snow”. Within a mile, it was coming down like a blizzard. Not in Raleigh-terms blizzard, but legit blizzard. We turned into my old childhood neighborhood, and the flakes just kept getting bigger and bigger. They were coming down in 1-in diameter snowflakes. We had about 4 miles left.

I began to realize how bad ass we were, so begged Dan to take some pictures. We sacrificed our warm hands for these pictures–

me.running.in.snow

That’s me… The ground was still warm from Friday, so it didn’t stick too much. But this is after it had started. It may look like rain, but that’s just because Dan sucks at taking pictures on my iPhone (he also was too far away, and managed to get his thumb and sweatshirt in the frame as well… Amateur!)

Dan_snowrun

It felt like I was crying, because I had to keep brushing the snow out of my eyes. I wanted to give up so many times. But I kept pushing. When we saw this sign, we started walking. 14.21 miles total (overall time 2:30). Last 0.21 miles at a sprint pace; in 1:41. The time difference between the first picture and the second is about 30 minutes.

Final picture, before I jumped into my car, and blasted the heat:

Umsteadinsnow

It was a little nostalgic for me as well; to see my childhood neighborhood in the snow. And I was much happier after I had a long hot shower and got back in my warm bed with Dan and my fat cat (He wanted body heat as well).

Mentoring rocks

So in January, I decided to mentor a half-marathon training group. At first, I was thinking it may have been a bad idea to do such a “slow” group, as it wouldn’t be much of a workout for me… Well, it’s been great! The first run, I saw one of our old training buddies (who has always been a little slower), and we chatted a good bit, and the whole group ran with excitement- clocking the first two miles at 9:33, 9:35. Then they really hit a wall on the last mile back, and we slowed to a 10:24 pace. Still, I was proud; and I told them we’d watch the clock more on the way out.

The following Saturday “long run” (started at 4 miles, which isn’t even really mid-distance for me, but is a good starting place for training) was cancelled due to icy weather conditions. Which, it’s good they scrapped it. Sarah and I went 7 miles on Sunday and were slipping and sliding at a 10:30 pace…

The next Tuesday night run was a little hilly at parts. And Andrea (Tuna and Palmetto and prior training buddy of mine) joined us. We did ~3 miles with the group, maintaining a 10-10:30 pace, with a strong finish at the end. Then Andrea and I went out for another 3 miles on our own at 9:30s (final mile 9:05- woo!).

This past Tuesday night, we went out for a hilly 3 miles. I didn’t have my garmin because I was running late, and knew it would take ~10 mins to find satellites… But it basically looked like this:

Untitled

(no really here is the map with elevation– notice it’s graded the whole time; no “flat” http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/172040644)

Anyway, we all started bonding then. Some of my people had to walk, but they all finished strong on the last uphill (Of course I looped back, so I was pushing them too)

Today’s run was 5 miles, and was really cold. I loved it though! I ran a 10:30 to 11:00 pace with my people. These were the people who had to walk on Tuesday’s hilly run, so I thought I’d maintain a slower pace for them. My goal was to not let them walk at all. If they had to walk, I would have done an easy jog next to them 🙂 Nothing makes you want to punch your coach like them jogging next you as you’re struggling- hehe.

They did great though. They even responded when (with 0.3 miles left to go), I said I was gonna try and get them to go a little faster, time to push it a little at the end. We dropped down to as fast as a 8:55. For them, that is an awesome sprint. Our total 5-mile pace was 52:00. And I think they were all sore, but satisfied afterward.

And we’re all started to become a little bonded, which is nice.

I, of course, grabbed some Nuun and GU, and met up with the other mentors who were finishing up with their groups, and took off for another 8 miles, 3.67 with the mentors, 4.33 on my own. One of the mentors was going 20 miles for the first time, and is a little slower as is, so we tried to keep it at a 11:00 pace for her. I pushed my last three miles as much as possible (but had to pee so bad! And that always slows me down).

Helping people reach milestones is great. It reminds you why you run. Although, for me, I run because I can. And I will continue to run to celebrate life.

And now, taxes. And then finding a costume kilt for a st pattys race (8K) in March. We are trying to beat a record for the most people to run in a kilt… 1,089 is the record to beat. I think 780 were signed up as of a few weeks ago, and I am trying to get others to get in on it (200m in a kilt to count). And tons of great beer and Irish music in Moore Square after it. It’s a great race to be a part- participant or by-stander 🙂