Today, the Houston Fit Fall Marathon schedule called for 13 miles. Since the hubby's work schedule made it impossible to meet up with the group before the run, I had to just guesstimate where the group would be and when. This week's run actually began with a partial loop around the park, which worked perfectly for me. I parked along the loop and stretched while I waited for the red group runners. As soon as I arrived, I saw the green & yellow folks jog by, so I knew I had gauged my guesstimates correctly.
I met the group at mile 2 of the route. From there we ran to Crestwood, then down Blossom to Jackson Hill. After a little zig zagging, we ended up on the scenic Heights Blvd and jogged until the dead end at 20th. It was warmer than last week...or at least it felt warmer. I ran most of the route with Mary Jane...she and I tend to run about the same pace and always manage to maintain interesting conversations, which is great to keep the mind off any aches and pains along the way!
I like the Heights run. There's a gravel path along a large portion of the run, so it's a little easier on the joints. Coach Tom, our fearless leader, was kind enough to have a water/gatorade stop along the way. It felt great to refill the fuel belt bottles with nice, cold water and splash a little on my face and head too. Along the return trip, we also ran into the regular group of Houston Fitters. Nothing like seeing some friends to get you pepped up a little - I saw Katie, Kay, Kim and Alisa (in that order) and a few other familiar faces with names I can't remember. Of course, the pep didn't last long enough, but it was nice all the same.
Since I missed the 1st 2 miles, I decided to go ahead and complete a full loop at the end of the run instead of heading to the Houston Fit meeting area. I was pleasantly surprised at how great I felt! I felt really strong the entire run and as I rounded the loop for the last couple of miles, I still felt great. At one point, on Memorial Drive, I felt like I was really falling into that groove. The one where you think you can run even more miles....the one that doesn't happen for me as often as I'd like. For a split second, I felt like I was gliding...the word gazelle came to mind and I actually chuckled out loud. I might have felt like one, but I was pretty sure I didn't look like one! :-)
So I finally made it beyond a 10-mile run. Thinking back, I don't think I've run any farther than 10 miles since the Austin Marathon in February. It felt great to not only finish 13 miles, but to finish strong!
Conditions - 81 w/76% humidity
Total Run Time - 2:37:52
Total Distance - 13 miles
Pace - 12:08
-0.6 lbs this week
4.8 lbs total loss