I got to bed last night nice and early and bolted out of bed ~4:15, ready for my long run. I'm really glad I decided to check the computer for our route this morning. For 5 weeks now, our routes have all been the same every week. I opened our e-mail to confirm that I was running the same as last week but come into the park long for the extra mile. I was very surprised to see that ALL our routes were new so I had to do some studying before I left. Before our run, Michael mentioned that our routes were changing this week. The reason he said was that we were practicing our "Avoid Houston Fit" routes. I laughed out loud. Basically, we left the park out Wescott and stayed off of Blossom. The route brings us back in Memorial all the way from Waugh so I guess the intent was to avoid HFit going OUT of the park. They start in what? 3 weeks? The season is here!!! I say the more people out on the roads the better. I LOVE the energy of all our groups in town running and training for our marathons/half marathons. It's the best.
So, I had 7 on the schedule today. Michael's routes are rarely right-on-the-money with the distance but it's all good. That just means he doesn't have us doing a lot of out and backs which makes it a lot less boring. Anyway, the distance of today's 7 mile route was 7.42!!! Last week's 6 mile route was 5.92 so 7 and a half had me a little worried. The heat was bad. My goal on these runs during the summer is to just get 'er done, get the mileage done. I took full advantage of all of our water stops and did some stretching when I stopped.
By the time I got back to the Memorial Park loop, I had a choice of coming in short for 6.4 or sticking with the plan and coming in long for 7.4. Oh, believe me, I was sooooo ready to be done and seriously considered turning right towards the soccer fields. I kept going long and for a while considered turning around after .3 or .3 and finishing with 7 instead of 7.4. But I kept going. I walked some early in mile 7 but it was not an "I quit" walk. I kept strong and walked briskly and only for a timed 1 minute period at a time. At about the 6.8 mark, I actually got a little burst of energy and made it all the way to the tennis court in pretty good effort. I stopped and spent some time at the runner's shower and then jogged it on in for what acutally turned out according to the Garmin to be 7.7 miles. I think Michaels 7.42 ended at the tennis center.
Anyway, it was one of those runs where I wanted to quit but I didn't and at the end I was soooooo happy I didn't. It really helped my confidence to be able to reach down SOMEWHERE and find SOMETHING to get me to the distance I had committed to. No shortcuts. No quitting early and walking the "quitter's walk" for the last mile. I finished it running. We had some great fun trash talking at Starbuck's after which made it just that much better of a Saturday morning. So much done before 9:30 am, before many even get out of bed.
Now, off to the HARRA Summer Celbration!!!