Short post, have to get to bed. I'm in Philly and had a tough day today work-wise, but I got the job done. That was good.
I also got in a long-midweek-for-me run this morning. I found a running group here last year or the year before that was listed as having one of the area's only morning group runs. The run I remember best from last year was challenging -- I ran with a guy who pushed the pace, but it was awesome.
Since my schedule lined up well again, I figured I'd join them again. But I have a new favorite hotel here, and to get to the Thursday morning run spot, I had to go just over 2.5 miles each way. Plus 5 miles with the group. A month from now, two months from now, 10+ miles on a weekday won't be crazy. But right now, I've been hovering around 7 or so miles.
I figured it would be fine if I ran the solo miles really slowly. But then I started remembering how that run last year went, and I was pretty worried I wouldn't be able to hang with the group this year, being slower and more out of shape.
I set out at 5:30 to meet them at 6, just to be safe. It was slow-going to get there, lots of red lights and big puddles, not always entirely sure which way was best to go, but I got there in plenty of time and met up with the group. Unfortunately, the guy I spent so much time talking to last summer wasn't there -- they said he still runs with the group all the time, but he almost always skips the morning runs (did I mention most Philly groups run in the evening?).
So I talked to new people over the course of 5 miles -- and I was pleasantly surprised to realize I could hang (though I think it was actually slower than last year). About 1.5 miles from the end, a few guys really hit the gas and we spread out a bit. I picked up the pace as well and felt pretty good, running with one guy and talking the whole way. Amazing what temps in the 60s will do for me!
I spent most of the 5 miles talking to the woman who organizes the run (I remembered her from last year) about her travel plans, a guy named Eric about his plans for the day, a first-timer who was talked into coming by a friend named Sara who had the career day of a lifetime today (responsible for opening a new Lulu store here aimed at a younger tween set, first store she's ever opened, super exciting), and a guy whose name I forgot who is opening a new diner/restaurant soon. He has been a vegetarian for more than 20 years, so we talked a lot about vegan v. vegetarian, cooking, races (he likes ultras on trails), injuries, and life in general.
It was a nice morning -- and at the end of the run, Sara and her friend Phil (who I also remembered from last time) said that they met through a free workout thing called the November Project, and they said I should meet them tomorrow. Half a stadium's worth of bleachers. Yikes.
I hate stairs/bleachers, but mostly because it's hard and good for me. So I guess I'm setting my alarm and heading out to meet them! Very nervous. What if I bring shame to all Dallas runners with my wussiness on bleachers? Haha. When I actually realized that was my concern, I knew I had to go. So what if I don't finish?! Not a big deal. As long as I don't fall down and get hurt, it should be a worthwhile experience!