Two days ago, I took part in my second Terry Fox Run in Renous, a small community, located in central New Brunswick. The weather was perfect for running – cool and cloudy, but only a few people showed up for the event. The participants could choose their distance from 1 to 5K and I decided to do the full distance. The race started at 1:30 and I was really surprised that no one was running – every one walked at a leisurely pace and so did I.
Sign indicating the Terry Fox Run is in progress.
Group photo of the participants – I do not know anyone.
This is me…..walking instead of running.
At the end of the walk, every one stood around and the organizers announced the 50-50 draw winner, and the winners of the Chinese auction prizes. I went home empty-handed. This was by far the most boring running event that I have taken part in and next year I will select a Terry Fox event that attracts a crowd.
Later in the afternoon, I went out for a long, slow run on the trail near my place. The trees are changing colors and the leaves are gently falling to the ground and the birds are moving south – all the signs of nature indicating that summer is drawing to an end and that I should prepare a fall plan for exercise.
The leaves are changing color on my favorite running trail.
The pond is in need of some water.
My spring training slowed when I landed a part-time job (20-30 hours a week) at the garden center in town. Physical exercise was a big part of the job – watering, rearranging plants, trimming shrubs and trees, dead-heading flowers, sweeping up debris, and loading soil for customers. When I wasn’t busy doing these chores I had to operate the cash register. Overall, it was enjoyable, but physically demanding work which left me exhausted at the end of my shift, so I limited my running to 3 miles every second day. I also had to work on the weekends which meant missing out on local running events.
The garden center closed a couple of weeks ago and now my training is back on schedule. Last week I did a couple of 3-mile runs and two longer sessions of 4 miles each. Although my focus is on distance rather than time my pace has gradually improved from over 12 minutes per mile a few months ago to slightly less than 11 minutes.
This week I did my first 5-mile run this year, with a fairly decent pace over the first half and then a dreadfully slow pace for the second half. The main thing is I did 5 miles in less than an hour! Yesterday, I set out to do four miles, but my Garmin battery went dead before I hit the 2-mile mark, so I slowed down, walked some, took some photos, ate some blueberries, and jogged home.
My favorite part of my route – flat, smooth, and some shade trees.
Stopped to pick some blueberries on this road.
This is a hilly, unpaved side road that I usually avoid.
This is a short trail though the woods.
I sometimes run on this path in the woods, but the terrain is rough.
The calendar may indicate spring, but the temperature and outdoor conditions are still wintry. It is a challenge to go out and run in the cold, surrounded by snow-covered landscapes, but I need a break from the boredom of the treadmill.
When I step out the door I feel so cold and miserable and I am tempted to return to my warm house. However, if I can withstand the freezing temperatures for a few minutes I will survive. So, I walk as fast as possible for 10 minutes to warm up before running. Thank goodness, in a few minutes, I start sweating and quickly forget about the frosty weather.
Last week I did three 3-mile runs and one 4-mile run. The running trails near my place are still too icy, so this means that I am limited to the main rural highway and some side roads in my neighborhood. Luckily there is virtually no traffic on the side roads, so it is possible to run in the center of the street where the pavement is less damaged and there are fewer potholes. Nonetheless, I have to pay close attention to my footing to avoid injuries and by doing this I usually miss the nature around me. There were lots of deer on the roads, but my huffing and puffing sent them running in the woods, making it difficult for me to get my camera out in time to snap many photos.
This is a side road that gets little traffic, so still plenty of snow here.
A couple of deer out for a run.
Close-up of one of the many potholes that I have to skirt around.
This is the road where I am training until the trails are open.
Looks like the trails won’t be ready for a few weeks.
Still too much snow here. Is it really spring?