Happy Thursday, people! Did a tempo 8 miles with Jen this morning. We obviously color-coordinated for this event. Honestly, until mile 6 when a walker we passed commented on us matching, we hadn’t even realized it. We’re a bit slow mentally in the morning.
We joke that this blog should be called “running with Jen” since she makes an appearance almost every post. There is something to be said for having a training partner. I feel like these snippets of conversation over the last 24 hours exemplify perfectly our relationship as training partners.
We kick each others’ butts, keep each other accountable, and generally goad one another into staying on track. It’s awesome. It would be really hard to force myself to wake up at 5 in the morning (although, admittedly, I woke up at 4 am and couldn’t get back to sleep) after getting home from vacation at 2 p.m. and from teaching at 10 p.m. the night before. I even *gulp* said I would be willing to run the marathon with her. I’ve never promised to run with another person during a race. It’s a whole level of commitment I’ve refused to make. I still feel vaguely nauseous thinking about it (yeah yeah, I got issues).
Anyhow, it was funny because we crossed paths with another friend (Patty) from our running group with her favorite training partner (Erin, who’s also in our running group). It was Patty’s birthday yesterday and she had a 10 miler on the books this morning. As a bday present, Erin mapped out “the perfect 10 miler” to get her through it this morning. Gotta love your running bff’s. One of my oldest adult friends (friends I’ve made as an adult) is my running friend, Yolanda. I met her training for my first marathon together. And we’re still friends, although we don’t get to run together very often since we both work, have two kids, and have different running schedules.
Today’s tempo run was okay, but I was super-tired. I slept pretty badly on the trip, and then I made the dubious choice of doing some trail running and hilly road running in the Dells yesterday before we left. It’s funny, I’ve done very little trail running, but the little I’ve done has been all out of town. I seem to have trouble finding the time and motivation to drive to trails here. I do enjoy it, although my wonky ankles make me a little nervous about it. It was crazy foggy, though, for a good part of the run. When I walked out yesterday, I was surprised by how thick it was.
Once I got into the woods, though, of Mirror Lake State Park, I was glad I had chosen to get off the roads. I got to listen to some noisy ducks while gazing upon Mirror Lake. So beautiful, and pretty magical-seeming with the fog enclosing everything.
My phone was being pretty annoying and so I didn’t run with music (or working GPS). I’m glad I didn’t. I would have missed the funny quacking and the gorgeous solitude of the trail. There’s such a sense of freedom and fun I get from running in the woods. I mean, you just don’t get this from running the streets of the suburbs, or even the pseudo-trails we’ll run sometimes on the weekends. I always find it humorous that some of the most obnoxiously commercial and touristy places, like Las Vegas or Wisconsin Dells, have so much amazing natural beauty right outside.
One thing I found curious was these weird raised ridges along the path. I couldn’t figure out if they were man-made or natural. What would cause them? I kept having flashes of old cartoons of moles or groundhogs. Thoughts?
Being a flat-ground runner, though, you realize how poorly trained you are for hills. My GPS was all wonky, so ignore the pace stuff (I’m an idiot and left my watch at home so had to rely on my phone). But seriously, check out those climbs! I walked a number of them cuz 8 miles of this was a bit much.
But the road to any running goal is long and winding, but heck of a trip (and sometimes pretty). So I’ll leave this last picture for you with that thought.
Ha, April Fool’s. It’s Wednesday…
Any ideas what those ridges on the trail might be?
Do you have a great training partner/running bff?