Lots of my friends have posted on Facebook things that they are thankful for. I hate to say that it took me a couple of days to figure out that this was in the spirit of Thanksgiving! So for Friday Five I will share five things that I am thankful for.
First and foremost I am thankful that grand-baby #4 and his mommy walked away from this:
The impact was on the other side of the vehicle, but it blew the door panels off on the other side! Very, very thankful that they are fine.
Of course I am thankful for my marriage with my wonderful hubby and the opportunity to keep pace with him in life! Even if I can not keep pace with him while running! I am catching up though.
The opportunity to raise four sons and watch them become fine young men is a great blessing. Son #1 is moving to Dallas, Son #2 is doing some work in North Dakota, Son #3 is making his way through college and Son #4 is still in high school and hitting the running trails with his mom and dad!
Very thankful for four sweet, crazy and cute grand-children! Unfortunately we do not live near them, but we do Skype and visit as much as we can.
I am thankful to God for these things and many more including running. That may sound silly, but running has helped me in many ways. Physically of course by losing weight and gaining strength and better health. Mentally by challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone. Spiritually because running is conducive to praying! On long runs you have a lot of time for pondering and reflecting and running in the woods brings back a sense of awe for God’s creation. Socially you meet many wonderful people and become part of a community that even connects through the internet by blogging! So, yes, I am thankful for running!
Group run on Saturday was awesome! It was 63 degrees and a little overcast with some sun peeking through the clouds. We started out on the trail for a 6 mile run in our pace groups and soon I settled into a rhythm. Now I can actually see my pace group the whole time that we run! I am getting faster!
This time I was able to keep pace with a young woman who is usually just ahead of me. She keeps a very steady pace and it was great to be able to stay with her! Neither of us talk much while running which is fine with me. I am used to being by myself (because I am slow) and actually like the silence. For me, running is a great time to pray and to contemplate the beauty of nature. Running for over an hour gives you a lot of silence to listen to God and to pray for others! ( So let me know if you have any prayer intentions! I have a lot of miles to cover over the next few weeks!)
At almost 3 miles, my pace friend informed me that we were keeping under a 12:30 pace which made me nervous, because my fastest time for 6 miles had been a 13:10 and I still had to make it back over some tough hills! I decided to stay with her as we turned to head back for the last 3 miles.
I was determined to keep my pace the whole way including the hills! The hills are always hard, but even more so when you have run 3 miles already! So I started up the first one telling myself to dig, just dig, do not stop! Then the second one! I made it! Realizing the hardest part was over I pressed on.
Soon I was at the 5 mile mark and caught myself thinking: ” O.K., only 1 mile to go. One mile is easy!” How crazy is that ! I guess the endorphins were kicking in!
I finished 6.15 miles and checked my Garmin. I averaged a 12:44 pace! My fastest pace yet!
I got back to Fleet Feet and started stretching. I leaned over to touch my feet and noticed something on my shoes that I had never seen before. I got so excited and started laughing and pointed it out to my husband and a friend. It seems that my shoes knew just the motivational phrase that I needed to get up those hills! (click the picture to enlarge)
My new motto!
Nothing like motivational shoe strings!
Dental appointments, errands and schoolwork with my son (we homeschool) kept me very busy today. So, when 3:00 rolled around I decided to take a nap. It was a bad move! I woke up an hour later and felt more tired than before! Not good considering I had a group run at 6:00. Never the less, I put my shoes on and persevered. Being with a group of other great runners always helps!
Today’s run was for 30 minutes and it was hot. We ran the west side of the trail which has big hills. I started out too fast, but managed to find my pace and get my breathing under control. Despite the heat I managed to run the entire time and kept a 12:50 pace which is good for me! Little by little I am getting faster!
Today was also my best friend’s birthday! So, naturally I had to get her a birthday girl ribbon to wear while she ran! She was a good sport!
Birthday girl with some of our running friends!
It is great to have a friend to run with even though I can not keep up with her! Having my husband running with me is even better! I can not keep up with him either! 🙂
Hubby (in green) and some buddies!
After running we celebrated my friend’s birthday, grilling chicken fajitas and eating birthday cupcakes. Hey, we earned those calories!
By the way, I am not in any of the pictures because I was taking them!
The alarm clock went off at 5:55 A.M. Saturday morning, but I did not want to get up! My sleep had been interrupted several times by older sons who were up all hours of the night and our dog barking at a moth that somehow made it into the laundry room where she sleeps! I somehow managed to get up and stagger to the kitchen to eat some “fuel” for my long run with our training group!
I have never liked eating early in the morning, but now I eat a banana and peanut butter and honey toast before my long runs on Saturday. I am learning, sometimes the hard way, how important nutrition is for running!
Image via Wikipedia
This time our run was on the trail for 6 miles! The farthest I have ever run at one time! I got in my pace group and started out intending to run in intervals of 7 minutes and walk 1 minute, but it was 63 degrees and felt awesome, so instead I kept running! I kept my eye on a girl ahead of me and found my pace and kept going and going and going! Squeals! I was so excited!
I finished in 1 hour and 19 minutes. Yes, it was a slow pace, but I ran all 6 miles! It makes me think of The Turtle and the Hare, and we know how that race ended!