Last night was pretty cool. I hit 3 miles, met a great group of people, got a learning lesson on training for marathons/half marathons, and had a change of the running scenery. It felt good and I needed it. I was feeling a little verklempt (yeah, I'm bringing it back) and was hoping to have my endorphins pulsating through me enough to explode a pick-me-up kind of happy mood. And that it did.
Both Jodi and I got there 30 minutes early, because traffic was not really all that crazy. Luke's Locker (the ones that put on the Woodlands 5K series), USAFIT Houston, and KOALA Health & Wellness Center had tents with gallons of Gatorade and water for the runners at the 3 Mile Marker and passing out stickers for National Running Day. These stickers also gave us 10% off our next purchase at Luke's Locker . Jodi and I went over to this area (I'm not sure what to call it, but it looks like a playground for adults to stretch and workout) so that we could stretch while we waited for the big group run to begin at 6 p.m. We also took in the scenery and it was a mighty fine scenery. I mean we ogled at the soccer players at Bear Creek Park, but the guys here are really good looking and so in shape. Anyhoo, I digress.
Our before picture
We walked back over to the area and then they placed us in to groups of how long you can run a mile. Of course, we were in the back, in the walker's group, because we (really me) were really running at 10-11 minutes. Yeah, I'm still a slow runner, don't judge me. We started our run and basically left the walkers. They were just walking way too much. The run was totally different than what I have been exposed to at Bear Creek Park. First of all, there is quite a few people all running fast, the run is like a rocky trail (supposed to be better on your knees than the asphalt), and it's uneven. I felt like I was going to slip in fall, but I never did. It was an adjustment to get used to and probably won't for another couple of runs. When it was about probably the 1 Mile Marker (didn't really notice the mile marker plaques on the ground until the 1 1/2 Mile Marker), I felt like I was losing steam. Jodi was talking about my legs burning and that wasn't the problem, it was my breath. I just couldn't catch it. So, we eased up on the running and then stopped for some water. What's nice about this park is that there is water fountains and even some portapotties all around the run. We said, "Hello," to a couple of people from the USAFIT Houston group. Obviously, I was looking like death, because they kept mentioning to me that the Walking Group was back there.
Anyway, one of the guys (and a Coach) caught up to us and started talking about everything. He asked how we trained, blah blah blah. We basically stayed with him for the rest of the run. And I'm pretty sure I know him from somewhere else. He does the 5 1s, which means that you run for five minutes, fast walk for 1 minute. He talked about his first marathon and how he was trying to run through it all, but the 5 1s caught up to him and ultimately beat him to the finish line. So, now he does this for all marathons. He said that sometimes, he does 2 1s instead. He was heading to a marathon on Sunday in Wyoming and just got back from one somewhere. He does alot of marathons throughout the year. Sheesh, I am just trying to train for a half. He also had a watch, which beeped at him whenever it was time to walk or to run and he always had me get water when we hit a walking point. It was good and made me realize that I need to get a stopwatch of some sort like that to keep up with it.
When we finally reached the 3 Mile Marker (in a run), it was done. I made it a point to make it to the plaque so that there was no confusion on how many miles I did. I was tired, but felt great that I just did 3 miles. Jodi gave me a high-five and told me that I just did a 5K. WEEEEEE!
Now, it wasn't all running, but this worked out so much better. We sat around and talked with the group and drank some Gatorade. Apparently, they train the 5 1s, because ultimately it increases your speed and it doesn't get you tired at the end of the marathon when you are about to collapse and maybe not finish at all. It's something that Jodi and I will start to use in our training. I will probably join them or the USAFIT for the Cypress area since it's close to my home and the dropzone. What's great is that I can go in to any of the groups across the nation as long as I belong to one. I just haven't decided yet to join at all, because it cost money (only $120 for new members). However, it would be good for us both since they teach correct training tips. I think that Jodi is joining the one for the Woodlands area. If you want to find a USAFIT running group in your area, then click this site.
We said our goodbyes to the new nice people that we met. Although, they could only be nice to us to get us suckered in to their cult. NAAAHHH! When Jodi and I got to the car, we took a picture of us how we look afterwards (we also took a before picture). I will post those pictures in the next couple of days since I forgot the doohicky that connects my camera to the computer.
We also had a change in our training schedule (will update the Training Schedule Page, as well) for tonight. Instead of the Cemetary run, we are going back to Memorial Park. It will make our journey longer to get to the restuarant and the movie, but we really like this area to run. The change happened Jodi is doing 6 miles on Saturday and doesn't want to do a 5 mile run tonight. So, we will stick with the 3 mile run like last night. Then, we go for some authentic South African food (well, we are bringing a South African with us to verify) and then off to see Sex and the City 2. I didn't like the first movie, but this one got me excited (okay, really Aiden got me super excited). I will ignore the reviews and see it anways. They should have just set everything in Morocco like the filming. Moving on...this is a blog about running...seriously, about runnning.
Tomorrow, we run the Woodlands 5k run for practice.