I did not want to wake up on Saturday morning.
But my alarm went off at 5:50, and I lay in bed for five minutes. The run was not to be canceled unless it was thundering or lightening outside. I listened hopefully for any sound of thunder. I just wanted to sleep. But besides wind, I did not hear any ominous signs of an approaching storm.
The group organizer had promised to update the page about the status of the morning’s run. I checked it. The organizer had posted a cartoon of someone in bed. “Rise and shine, it’s time to run!” the text read.
After letting Puppy stretch his little legs sufficiently and eat a little breakfast, I left my apartment. This time, there weren’t endless stretches of roads closed downtown. I arrived early enough to hear the seminar, which never happens.
The seminar talk was about body image. At first I was skeptical about the topic; it just seemed too heavy for 7 am, I thought. But it ended up being a really good talk. The speaker, a coach for one of the pace groups, is a counselor and talked about her patients who have eating disorders. She said that as endurance athletes, we are prone to overexercising since we want to maintain a certain body image. This really resonated with me, since that is what had been happening to me after my marathon. The speaker said the body image in America is one of the most unforgiving in the world, and mentioned how Abercrombie and Fitch’s release of size 00 clothing gave her anorexic patients a dubious new goal to strive to (I KNEW there was a reason why I hated Abercrombie and Fitch).
After the short but informative talk, the group organizer stood up and talked about how close the issue was to her heart. She had been a competitive runner in college and had friends who dealt with eating disorders. She mentioned that she had also developed body image problems since she was weighed every single week in front of her teammates, and it wasn’t until she had her two children that she learned to accept and love her body. She got really emotional saying this, and I found myself getting a little emotional, too.
The organizer brushed away her tears and then had us organize into our color groups. The Yellow half-marathoners had five miles to run. “It’s going to be hilly,” the organizer warned. “The first mile is all uphill.” Great, I thought.
I had been a little concerned about this run, since I hadn’t felt motivation throughout the week to complete my runs. But this run was perfection. The storms from the day before had brought in cooler weather, and it was beautiful. I felt strong on this run and felt like I could have finished another five before stopping. The hill training I’d done with my Wednesday group really helped. I barely felt winded with the hills.
At the end of the race, I make a kick to the finish. My coach said that she thinks I can move up another pace group, but I don’t think I will. I tried running with a faster pace group when I trained for the marathon two years ago, and I didn’t really enjoy it then. I enjoy training at a slightly slower pace – besides, I ended up passing up some of the people in the faster group at the actual marathon. So I know it’s not vital that I do my training runs thirty seconds per mile faster than what I’m doing now.
Week 6’s run – six miles? I don’t really know.