I had a great long run this morning. Having company for all but 2.8 miles of the 15 miles was the highlight! The gorgeous, 40-degree day was another big plus. The run was quite a contrast to last weekend’s long run of 13 miles in the cold and snow. My neighbor, Susan, was kind enough to do close to seven miles of that run with me and fortunately I had some new music on my iPod shuffle to get me through the second half.
Preparing my “gear” last night for the first time since last year was a sign of getting into the bigger mileage. I filled my fuel belt bottles with Gatorade, which has become my long run beverage of choice. I filled half with the lemonade flavor, which Martha introduced me to last year. My other flavor was “Fierce Grape”, chosen because it was on sale at the supermarket! The taste was ok but it’s a little scary to drink something that blue as an adult.
I ran with three other women this morning who are fellow members of the Suburban Striders Running Club (www.suburbanstriders.com). This threesome is inspirational given that I am training for a second marathon and hoping to improve my time from last year. Hilda has run four marathons and improved her time with each event. Sharon has completed nine marathons and is also training for Boston. Carol is the fleet-footed one of our group but doesn’t mind slowing down for a long training run. She is also training for Boston having qualified for her number last year and finishing the 111th in 3:30! We talk the entire way sharing training regimens and comparing mileage but also converse about kids, travel and of course, the Patriots!
While my quads and calves are a bit tight having done my longest run to date, I’m encouraged to have enjoyed and survived fifteen miles today. Last year at this time my long run was 12 miles, so I have stepped up the distance a bit. I’m just doing one long run a week, however, most of my running companions today were doing a mid-week long run too. There are always new challenges one can set with the sport of running.