One week before my first running event in over four years and I do not feel ready. Two weeks ago, the weekly group run on Monday evening was a struggle after working all day. The pace for the first couple of kilometers on flat terrain in the park was too fast for me, so when we started on the uphill section that leads to the road through the village my running quickly slowed to a fast walk. I never recovered and completed the distance by jogging and walking. Then on Wednesday I ran with a member from the running club who is quite a bit faster than me and this was a complete disaster. I could only manage to run a couple of minutes at a time, followed by walking. On Friday, I did a practice 5K and each kilometer was slower and tougher than the previous. By the time I hit the 4K mark my legs felt like I was dragging lead weights and I had to walk for a minute before starting again. In the end, I was happy when I finished 5K in just under 34 minutes.
Running with a group is great, but I have to remember to focus on my pace and not on keeping up to the others. Starting out too fast makes the middle and end a struggle.
This past week, the Monday group run was a bit better because I slowed down and concentrated on not going too fast at the start. I only needed a couple of walking breaks and was able to finish running rather than walking. My Wednesday and Friday runs were more or less the same.
Tomorrow our running group is meeting some runners in Miramichi and we will do the 5K course as a practice run for the Miramichi Rock N’ Roll race on Sunday. Tomorrow I am concentrating on a slower pace with fewer walking breaks in preparation for the real race. Then I will do individual training sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, rest for two days, and hopefully be ready to reach my time goal of 35 minutes or less on race day.
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.