Training Run #4 was not as bad as I expected it to be. I was anticipating a rough run because of a cold that I've been fighting, but once I got going I felt pretty good. We met in Newport, KY again this week, so the route took us on an out and back course. We had done a similar route the week before, so I was familiar with some of the elevation challenges (other wise know as hills!). Near the beginning of the run we came upon the Licking River Bridge, which can be troublesome because there's only room to run in a single file line across the bridge and last time I got smashed in the middle of a pack of people that were much faster than I am. So, this time I was more prepared for it and positioned myself closer to a group that runs at my pace and made it across the bridge with no problems. It was nice not having someone bearing down my back to move me across that skinny pathway, this time I was able to work on conquering the uphill as we approached the bridge, then I let gravity take it's course and coasted down the small downhill that was after the bridge. Toward the end of the 2miles, I met up with a nice gal and we ran it in for the last bit together.
Training Run #5 made me feel like a whole new person. I finally kicked my cold and was ready to take on the world (or at least approx 3 miles of it)! This was a Saturday morning run, so I was up about 1 & 1/2 hours before meeting time to have some OJ and an english muffin with peanut butter to be sure I had some fuel for the workout. My group ran a new route this time and it covered 2.75 miles. The beginning of the route took us up a pretty long hill - the thing about this hill is that it's not all that steep, which is good, but it is super long, so it just feels like it's never ending and there's not one bit of downhill on the other side. Overall, I was a machine during this run - I was at the front of the pack the entire 2.7 miles, I was not winded like I had been at the end of our 2 minute runs, I was even able to keep up a good conversation with our running coach about a book she recommended. I left that morning feeling like I could have kept going - that feeling alone was enough to make me smile all day long!
Now, Training Run #6 brought me back into reality - that's right, my "runners high" only lasted one afternoon, because by the time run #6 rolled around, the temps had soared into the mid 80s and it was really "hot and sticky" outside. One good thing about this run was that the majority of the route followed along the a large portion of the Hyde Park Blast course that we'll be tackling at the end of June. Tonight's run was all about hill conquering - and lots of them. There were some other elements that came into play also because there was a ton of construction along the main road, so we were dodging huge street signs along the sidewalks, lots of loose gravel debris and a good amount of dust floating through the air. We hit a huge hill on a street called Handasyde and man was it ever steep - the type of hill that makes you want to double over in pain when you approach it. Everyone was groaning their way up this bad boy - huffing and puffing, one foot in front of the other - it was that bad! It got the best of me and I had to walk up the majority of it, however there was a huge downhill and a water stop on the other side, so there was some immediate relief from the heavy panting I was experiencing. I'd say my favorite part about training run #6 was heading out for beers after the 3 mile run that night. It was really great to meet some more people in the training group and hear about the reasons why everyone got involved with running.
This weekend's training run is actually going to be the Kicks for Kids 5k charity run, so I'm really looking forward to participating in that event. More updates to come - thanks for reading about running experiences.