Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring has sprung

Thank you all so much for your supportive and encouraging comments on my Running and Blogging post. You make me want to blog more and more...so don't blame me if my posts and comments get longer and more frequent! It's all your fault!

I think NJ was determined to soak up as much sun as possible this weekend. With the weather being so dicey this year, people seem to want to squeeze every drop of enjoyment out of the days like this. I sure do.
Look at that sky...I mean, just look at it!!!
Friday evening, Ulla and I went for a stroll in Johnson Park (since I started running with the group at the park, I find myself rushing off to the park at the drop of a hat). Grills were out already and the breeze carried the heavenly smell of grilled meat in our direction. Mmm...have I told you I am always hungry?

This morning started out colder than I expected. I started my day at 5:45 am, reached the park at 6:40 and ran a reasonable-paced 7 miles before joining the group at 8 am. The usual effect of the group has been to push me to my speed limit for 2-3 miles, until I slow down deliberately and return to my snail-like pace. No sign of the competitive spirit that has always egged me on during races.
Today, I ran with an unfamiliar group for almost 3 miles (unfamiliar because I usually only see their backs). It was nice to be able to see their faces, for a change. I didn't even feel uncomfortable with the pace until someone called out that we were doing an 8:30 pace. Holy crap! I slowed down a bit and the group went ahead of me. I ran 3 miles at 8:45-9 minutes a mile. Then, 2 miles from the finish, my competitive spirit kicked in and I accelerated, determined to get to the parking lot before the group did. I did manage to edge them out by a few steps and felt very pleased with myself (they ran at least a mile more than I did, but who cares? I finished before they did! Hah!).

15 miles, bringing my total for the week to 37.6 miles.
I think I'm finally getting into gear for the Long Branch Half Marathon 2 weeks from now. The problem with doing the same race more than once is that no matter how well you run the race, you are never happy unless you PR! In 2007, I ran a great race. Being my first half marathon, I was happy with 1:52. It was a respectable time and I had nothing to compare it to. In 2008, I gave it my best, but struggled to keep the same pace. This time, I took a hard look at myself. Reality check: I'm older, not better prepared (a little more weekly mileage this time around, but no speed work whatsoever) and have no real chance of beating my previous performances. I just planned on enjoying the event...it is a beautifully organized event. But if today's run is any indication, I have hope. The competitor in me is still alive!

And, amazingly, I bounced back to normal pretty soon after the run (of course, you super moms and dads, who get zero recovery time after long runs are probably laughing at this, or shaking your heads. I have to hand it to you...you guys are superhuman!)

After buying up more books than we have room for, at the library sale...

...this ginormous lunch (Soppressata & mozzarella baguette...it sounds and looks drool-worthy, but I would only rate it average)...





...and Chicken salad sandwich (the reliable backup...DH & I take no chances when it comes to food)...




...and a couple of hours sprawled on the sunny patio, with The Chronicles of Narnia pressed against my nose (I must be in denial...as I grow older, my collection of books from the young adult category seems to be increasing)...
...I went biking with a friend, feeling as good as new.
Rain is expected tomorrow. I don't care. I had a great weekend. Hope you did, too.

13 comments:

Count of Monte Christo said...

Ok, Books, sun, relaxing, going to the park, doing some great runs. That would qualify for a great weekend!

I am sure you will totally rock the Long Branch Half Marathon.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Pearl said...

what a fantastic run! and enjoy your relaxing day of reading :)

Christie said...

Wasn't yesterday beautiful? I really hope Spring is here to stay.

Anyway, I'm sure that you're more than prepared for the Long Branch Half. Just enjoy the race.

J said...

I love book sales! Great job on the run!

D10 said...

Sounds like a fabulous weekend. There are so many books out there. I love reading.

Melanie said...

sounds like we had similar weather this weekend! It was amazing, but felt a chill in the air this morning. Great run! :)

Heather said...

Great long run! I love relaxing with a book after long runs . . . perfect recovery activity. :)

The Happy Runner said...

Great run! That's good that you are feeling ready for the half. If you don't PR, no biggie. You are where you are and having fun is a good goal!

Lakshmi said...

I am sure you will be doing wonderful on your Marathon this time. You are so dedicated and I can't imagine being up that early to run.

Abby said...

Wow, a great run AND an a trip to a library book sale... I'm not sure I could imagine a better day!

X-Country2 said...

Mmmmm, sandwiches. :o)

Good luck during your half. You're going to do great!

Sarah said...

Sounds like you had a great weekend! Chicken salad is my fave too. :)

The weather here in NY was gorgeous too. I went out for a run on Saturday and was loving the sunshine. :)

Tammy said...

Great run!

Sounds like you had a fabulous weekend.