Sunday, March 14, 2010
My First St. Cloud River Runner Group Run!
This is a picture of Amy...I ran with her for my first St. Cloud River Runner group meet:)
What a fantastic weekend!! It was the best weekend that I have had in a long time! Saturday morning I got up at 5 AM so that I could be ready to make the drive to St. Cloud and meet my running group! I was so excited not only to run with a group but to meet many of the other runners:) I arrived at the meeting place (Coborn's) at 7:35 AM. I was early and just kind of hung out until I noticed a few other runners make their way into the store. I then walked out side and started talking to a few of the other runners and got the low down on how things work. Before every run there is a group picture and we all lined up and watched the photographer run to take his place:) The photagrapher is the nice man in the right hand corner in the bottom row. I do not remember his name but he made me kneel front and center because I was one of the three newbie runners. This picture is pretty small if you would like to look at a bigger picture click on to this. There were several runners who showed up at 6:30 to start the run early to bank extra miles. Many of the runners are training for marathons. There are a few training for Boston. The course we were to run that morning was a 10k distance and I felt very happy when I heard that:) I could of done a ten mile but I didn't bring fuel with me. We all just started off together at a pretty easy slow pace...perfect for warming up. Before we started the run I asked if there was anyone who was planning on running around a 8:30 pace. One of the runners asked Amy if that is what she was planning on running. Amy was one of the runners who arrived at 6:30 and already ran 10 miles that morning. This 10k was going to be her cool down:) Honestly, I was a little scared that I would be in the slowest group. Most of these runners can smoke my times and then some:) I am happy to say that I was not the caboose in this 10k group running train:) Woo hoo!! We all ran together for the first mile and everyone was chatting and it was so nice to get to know some of these friendly people. The second mile was when the group started to break up a bit. Some of the guys and a few of the girls busted up ahead. I ran with Amy, Deb, Cathy and Shannon for the first few miles. Deb and Shannon are training for a marathon in May and needed to turn around after the third mile. They arrived early and had already ran ten miles. I ran with Amy for basically the entire run and we chatted almost the whole time. Amy is a tri athlete who does it all. She has children around the same age as mine so we had alot to talk about. I am not used to running with people other than when I race. This was so different for me. There were a few times where I felt like my breathing was labored because I am not used to doing both. I really like running with someone who runs about the same pace as me. I know that Amy can run at a faster pace...this was her cool down. I kept on looking down at my garmin and it was pretty consistenly staying at around the 8:30 to 8:40 range. The only time it went down was at the hill towards the end of the run. It was a gorgeous course of roads and the St. Cloud State University walking/running trails. When we hit mile five we stopped to wait for another runner who was getting a drink and I just ran in place. I would maybe say that we waited about two minutes before we slowly ran on. After going up the hill it was all road and we kept on going steady. When there was around a little less than a mile left Amy told me where the finish was and said that I could go ahead if I felt like sprinting in. I left Amy and started to pick up my speed. I ran pretty steady and got faster as I moved on. I sprinted in the last 800 meters and looked down at my garmin. It read 54:04! I was very happy with that considering we started off slower and we stopped at one point in the run:)
I went to my van and grabbed my water and my purs. After the run they meet inside the Deli and all have breakfast and coffee together. This is when I was able to meet more of the runners and just sat and talked. I had a really good time:) I sat next to a man who is the male version of me. He is a chatty Charlie:) I have never met a man who could talk as much as me before so I found this very entertaining. His name is Gary and he was the nicest guy:) I also had the chance to speak with a few of the other runners! Everyone was very friendly and welcoming:) I know I am going to love running in this group. I am kind of sad because next week I have a race and will not be able to make the group run!
This is a picture that was taken in the Deli. Shannon is the one sitting in the left hand corner and then there is me and Deb:)
Here is another picture of Deb and I. Deb joined the running group last year and she told me something fascinating. She said that when she started doing the group runs she was in the back of the pack and one of the slower runners. She has improved so much and she gives credit to the St. Cloud River Runners and running with this group. I am so looking forward to getting faster and running with people who run at faster paces. Deb is hoping to finish her marathon in May under 4 hours:)
Today was absolutely gorgeous here in Minnesota!! It got up to 56 degrees in the twin cities! I went on a five mile run today and I wore a long sleeved shirt and shorts:) Yes, I wore shorts! I did take a picture but my legs are scary white.....must get a slight tan sometime soon. I really do not tan, even in the summer I am lighter than most:( This is Weaver Lake Road which was the first part of my run. This portion is downhill and easy going.
At the bottom of that hill to the left hand side of the road is this wetlands and wildlife area. It the summer is it so beautiful:) I really wanted to run my old 10k running route from the summer and was pretty happy to see that the trails were free of snow:) This is the first portion of the trail system. No snow, woo hoo!!
This is a little bit farther down the trail. So far the run was great...perfect running weather and solid trails.
Until this...oh crap!! There was at least a foot or two of standing water and there was no way I was getting to the other side:( I was so disappointed because the best part of the trail system is a few miles down the trail. I needed to think about a plan B!
I turned around and ran back up Weaver Lake hill and turned off on a different trail. It is another one that I run if I am looking for a shorter run.
It is surrounded by woods so the snow was not totally melted:( I chose to push on and run on the snowy trails.
I did not have my Yaktraxs and it was pretty challenging in the snow.
This is a smaller steeper hill that I did some hill repeats on last summer and fall. This is another view of my hill.
Here is a small park that I run by and it is usally filled with children playing:)
This is the part of my runs that I like to do sprint repeats. It is nice and flat and it is towards the end of my run:) I love finishing my runs on this path:) I was able to keep a 8:50 mile minute pace for this five mile run! I was pleased with this because I stopped to take pictures and I ran part of it on snowy trails:)
This week I will be working on a getting a few 5ks in as well as one 10k. Next Saturday I am running The Get Lucky! 7k in Minneapolis:) I just purchased a green shirt to run in and I am getting pumped to run this one:) I hope that everyone has a great week!!
Here are a few giveaways to check out:)
Marcia is hosting a Runningskirts.com giveaway:)
Molly is hosting a God Never Blinks book giveaway:)
Misszippy is hosting a Rockin' Refuel giveaway!
Erica is hosting an Oisselle clothing giveaway!!