Saturday, September 3, 2011

11.17 Miles and GO GATORS!

I woke up this morning at 6:30 am and dressed myself in some ORANGE and BLUE running gear. Because, my friends, it is game day. It is college football season and I will let that influence my wardrobe every Saturday for the next three or more months.

Luckily, I'm a gator, and so I am strong. Despite my nerves last night, I knew my legs had eleven miles in them. Around 7:45, I left my apartment to prove that fact. I ran 2.37 miles to Ingrid's apartment and then waited almost ten minutes for her ass to come downstairs. While waiting, I took pictures of my gator fan feet and the fanny pack I was wearing so you readers could have a chance to make fun of me for it.

Laugh all you want but this free, piece of crap fanny pack let me bring my camera and take pictures along the way but avoid the complications of taking iphone pics that I experienced last week. I said that I'd be telling you about my runs and not showing you but, luckily, I can still do both. Jen, of Always Training Trio, suggested using a fitness belt to make things easier (and less nerdy looking) so I am going to look into that.

Together, Ingrid and I ran another touristy route that was a little under six miles long. She was going on about 5 hours of sleep so I was impressed by her energy, and her ability to respond to text messages throughout. We ran pretty slowly, which I think was good for both of us. We talked about lots of things, one of which was the feeling of community you get when running the streets so early in the morning. One of my favorite things about 6 AM runs before work is that 70% of people (total guestimation) you see out are also running. The same thing happens when you're up and running by 8 AM on a Saturday morning. It's a good reason to do this more often. We took turns photographing each other, and ourselves together, but never stopped running to do it. I also took a few creeper pictures of other runners in this little "community" I speak of.

White House!

Washington Monument!

Smithsonian Headquarters!

Capitol Building!

Union Station!

At mile 8.15, it was byebye Ingrid. We didn't stop to say goodbye so my legs kept going going going. I ran up 16th street, which is a long uphill road out of the city. I contemplated turning on Park Road and running through Mount Pleasant, making my route a bit longer. But when I reached Columbia and 16th, I made a last minute decision to turn and run through Adam's Morgan. Good thing I did because I ran by Nikki on a walk home with her own bottle of water and gym bag. Nikki, my friend training for her first marathon, was a member of the Saturday morning running community. Six weeks out from her marathon, she ran 15 miles this morning and rocked it! So yay and congrats to her!!

I reached the zoo and was .25 miles from home so I started to push it. I reached home and knew I had more in me. I had run 11.17 so I didn't keep going, but I decided I need to figure out how to pace myself better. Because I want to get the best time I can but still be able to finish. I don't want to finish 13.1 miles and feel like I could have done the whole thing faster. Maybe what I want is to feel like I've used every ounce of energy I have at the end, because that means I've done my best and made the fastest time I possibly could. Obviously, I still don't have this training thing completely down. But I'm working at it and, either way, it's so good to know I can run 11 miles and feel good at the end of it.

Good is a relative term, of course. I was tired as shit, super sweaty, and still have a slight headache. I sat on the floor and made Josh get me water and gatorade. I also made him stretch me and shake out my legs. I concocted a really thick bluuberry smoothie and ate a smorgasbord of peanut butter and banana, leftover salad and bread, hummus, and goat cheese.

Now it's off to Pour House, the gator game watch bar on Capitol Hill for some beer, bar food, and football. It's mission accomplished for Carrie and I hope it will be for the Florida Gators as well.

Are you a college football fan? If so, what's your team? Do you ever plan your running outfits to show some school spirit?

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