The training program I'm in is backed by a local running store and we always start at the store on Saturday long runs. Usually we start in NW Portland, which is super convenient for me as it's a 10 minute drive. We meet twice in Vancouver and I passed on the first one in lieu of running a longer run in PDX, but I am looking forward to the next visit there. I like running in Vancouver. Today though we met at their new location in Tanasbourne, a part of Hillsboro.
Don't get me wrong, the store is nice but it's not exactly a quick 10 minute drive. I found myself there in 20 minutes though since I was playing some dance music on the way over. I've gotten so much better about waking up early and I'm usually pretty darn peppy. Oh, and I totally bust out dance moves in my car.
Today we didn't have a pace leader for our group and since I was the only one with a Garmin, I turned into the pacer. Who knew that I am actually pretty good at cheering people on, giving some tips (that the other pacers have passed along to me!) and keeping us all on track? It was pretty cool and in some way I think having others rely on you a little bit is motivating. It's been so great to start recognizing the other ladies in the group and learn names. It was a smaller group today but surprisingly three of the other ladies in my group were all running the half distance so I had running buddies the whole time!
The full run today would have been a little over 13 miles and I have to admit that at a slower pace I think I could have covered it. My coach told me I needed to stick to the 7 miles today and I can jump to one long last run (13-14 miles) before Lacamas next Saturday. (I can't believe Lacamas is in 2 weeks! Time for some grueling hill runs!) I felt a little bad because there was only one girl in our group who was covering the whole distance and she didn't have a watch plus she had to run solo after 3.5 miles (our turn around point).
7 miles at an 11 minute pace felt so easy and good! I am also starting to be able to tell who is not sticking to the program because you can see people struggling. I am not judging at all though. Training takes up a lot of time, so I know how that goes - that was me last year and the thought of trying to tackle 7 miles consecutively even 2 months ago was a little unsettling.
One last neat thing: When I walked in this morning, my coach gave me a huge high five and it felt awesome. What a great start to the morning! :)