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A Happy Morning Run--Finally

Yesterday morning I did what I've attempted to do for the past couple of months of non-goal-oriented training: I woke up to my alarm, stayed up, and went out for my run on time. Part of what made this happen was that the local Tampa running group Run Tampa had a planned group run starting about two miles into my normal weekend route. To make it to the group run by 7:00 a.m., I knew I'd have to get up at 6:30 and be on my way around 6:40. And I made it! I was just in time for the pre-run gathering, which includes introductions, announcements from group leader Debbie Voiles, and a group photo. While the group plans an established run at one of four locations every weekend, I've only made two of them in the past couple of years! I guess I feel I don't really need the group, as I already have a group I run with, but I do like to have somewhere to plan to meet on the weekends when my group doesn't; accountability is key in getting me out and going. Here is a pic of from the morning's gathering at Patriot's Corner (Bayshore and Bay to Bay Blvds.):

(As I was writing this post, I learned that Debbie was quoted in the August issue of Runner's World!)

After the picture was taken, I ran by myself, as I don't really know anyone in the group except Debbie (who was on bike due to a knee injury), but I preferred to run solo anyway. I also saw Josh twice in passing, as expected (we don't usually plan our long runs together, as he runs faster than I do), and another friend from my main running group. While I often like to run solo, I still enjoy seeing friends in passing. It's motivating and a nice distraction during times when the run feels monotonous or when I'm struggling.

But during the run I didn't really struggle with much. I stayed at a slow and steady pace throughout the eight miles and used the 3-3 breathing technique mentioned in my previous post. Despite having taken four "muscle classes," as I like to call them, four days in a row this past week, I didn't feel too sore or heavy like I would expect to after that kind of work. I felt a slight tinge of pain in my left shin and noticed an on-and-off clicking in my left ankle (nothing painful), but other than that (and my usual left piriformis pain, although it affects me more afterward), I feel I'm in good shape to begin marathon training on Monday. (That is, after I choose a plan!)

After my successful run, I treated myself to my new favorite breakfast at Sophie's: oatmeal with raisins and peanut butter (and an iced coffee, not pictured, as I had already drunk half of it by the time my oatmeal arrived).

Okay, so it wasn't really a treat. I probably would have had the exact same breakfast whether I'd run or not. But I think it was even more enjoyable after having run. Adding a nut butter to my oatmeal is something I saw a friend do once, and although I thought it was bizarre, I tried it, and now I almost never have oatmeal without it (at home I prefer to use almond butter). 

Here's hoping my next post will include a marathon training plan!


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