I headed out running around 7:30 am, which proved to be perfect timing. It was late enough that the sky was lit, but early enough to avoid the heat. In fact, it was the perfect temperature. Any earlier and the first mile or so is freezing. Pretty early on in the run, while still a bit sleepy and not yet warmed up, I took a turn off the neighborhood streets and onto a path that cuts across some open hills.
Shortly thereafter I started thinking about a book I read a few months ago about a profiler of serial killers and psychopaths. The profiler became a profiler after a 20-something woman was murdered while running in a nearby park. There was no real motive involved. She just happened to cross the isolated path of a recently dumped and distraught psychopath.
This is what I was thinking about before I noticed a scruffy looking, middle-aged man in dirty jeans and a flannel shirt slowly walking towards the path I was running on. In case you missed the subtle, underlying implication of that last sentence I will spell it out for you. This guy was not on the path. He was about 20 yards off. Just hanging out in the middle of random field first thing in the morning...creeee-pyy. Even creepier is the fact that he turned around and started walking away from the path when he saw me coming. So, I don't think I'll be running on this path again. At least not without a companion.
Needless to say, I survived and felt much better when the path spit me back out onto neighborhood streets. My next challenge was a few hills. Slightly more painful, but (all things considered) a better alternative to creepy field men. While a run up a hill is certainly no walk in the park I have to admit that I'm kind of starting to like them. Now I know what you're thinking, "Like?! Why do you use such strong words?!" And you're right. Maybe "accept" would have been a better choice.
Vocabulary aside, I feel like I'm getting better at them. If I slow down (a lot) I can make it up a hill and keep my breathing under control. And at the top of most Benician hills lies an enormous sense of accomplishment and a spectacular view.
Furthermore, I think I'm almost to the point where I can plan out a run without checking the elevation changes first. I'm also entertaining the possibility that these hill workouts will translate into faster race times! This particular 5.38 mile run was completed at an average pace of 9:58 min/mile.
Those who have read my last few posts know that I've been playing chicken with a hip (aka butt) injury. You should know that I won this round. My left (that's right, the other one) hip felt a bit sore when I finished my run. So I rolled out my yoga mat and spent some quality time stretching. I think this did the trick because they're both feeling okay today.
On to Part II! The TeamChallenge kick off event was good. I'll leave it at that. Not bad. Not amazing. As it turns out my fall calendar is so full that I'm going to miss about 75% of the weekend group runs. So I was hoping to meet a bunch of my East Bay teammates at this event. (And by teammate I mean roommate. Someone I could share a hotel room with if Jason decides not to come.) While the turnout for the event was good, most of the attendees are on the San Francisco team. I only met 5 people from East Bay and 3 of them were boys! Ewww - cooties!
What I did really enjoy was hearing everyones' reasons for participating. Almost everyone there either had Crohn's or Colitis or had an immediate family member with the disease. It was really inspiring and reminded me that all the fundraising I have to (urgh) do will make a difference in their lives.
Talking with people who have completed the fundraising before helped to. When I confessed my woes to one of the mentors and asked what his secret was he told me, "Just ask. Don't feel guilty about it. Remember that you're not doing this for yourself. You're not asking them to give YOU money." So that's what I'm going to (gulp) do.
Would you like to make a donation? You can do so here, and it's tax deductible. Only have $1? No problem. Just type your donation amount next to "Other."