Pre-run fuel: 1 slice of white whole wheat bread with PBJ.Today's schedule called for an 8-miler.
Running friend Mr. J and I did two loops (4.5 mile and 4 mile). Which means, we did a total of 8.5 miles. It was a good run. Average pace was 11:36ish. But since this is my first "long" run for this "training season" and the fact that I haven't been running continuously, the pace was quite good. The first loop took us back to our vehicles where we shed our beanies, my gloves, and his jacket and my half-zip. We stretched a little, and I did the "Standing Figure 4" stretch. It felt so good! And off we went again.
The run was really good. We did some catching up and went over the "plan" for the next month and half. Since my training plan calls for a long run followed by a shorter run the following week (to reduce injuries), I suggested running together on alternate weeks, so he won't have to drive 20 minutes to where I live to run 3 miles.
At 6 a.m., the sun hasn't peeked out yet. There were some stars twinkling. It was a cold morning. The air was crisp and fresh. The wind was blowing hard onto our faces. There were already some vehicles out along the bypass where we ran. My running light that was clipped onto my half-zip was blinking red. Occasionally, a dog barked, a twig snapped, oak leaves rustled. Otherwise, it was beautifully quiet. I was excited to be out running this morning. I am not missing this glorious morning. I'm sure these are some reasons why morning runners dragged themselves out of bed on the weekends to do their runs. Even on cold mornings like this.
While my run was surprising easy, my heart was heavy. I cannot help but think about Sherry Arnold. I dedicated today's run to her. No words can express how sick I am that such a thing happened, or how sorry I feel for her family, her loved ones, and her community. I am a little mad. And a lot disappointed. I don't know her. But her story ... this could happen to anyone. It happened to her - one of us - runners. This running/blogging community has brought runners from different states and countries together. We are quite a close-knit group of folks for folks who haven't met each other before. In fact, I bare my feelings to you guys than I have to some "real life friends". You are my friend. We all know what we should be doing to keep ourselves safe - wear your reflective vests/blinking lights, get some kind of ID on you, run with your phone, be aware of your surroundings. So please, please take care of yourself when you are out there running. If possible, find a running friend - even if he/she can only do half the distance with you. Especially you who run long miles late at night. And you who runs through funky neighborhood with mean dogs. And you running out in what it seems to be nowhere with your dog. And you running out there in the snow-covered path. No, we don't let fear hinder us from doing things. But please be safe. Take care of yourself. Be smart. Remember: We all have someone to come back home to, and our someones are waiting for us to come home from our runs.
Thank you, my friends.