SOMEONE is turning off my sun sooner than usual.  At 7:30 tonight I was driving home from the grocery store and saw both on my van temp thingymabopper and the digital sign on a local business that the temperature was about 98 degrees still. I put the groceries away, then got into my gear, filled up my new Camelbak for the first time and headed out for my 7 mile tempo run! I swear, I didn’t make it more than 3 miles and the sun was setting on me! I got my 7 miles in — but I really am either going to have to bite the bullet and run when it’s killer hot more or accept running in the dark more. As you all know… I love running at night — BUT — the truth is — I worry about being out there on my own when the sun is down too. Darn!

Anyhoo….. I have always been fashion challenged (Hey Sam! I’d be like a Poster Child for someone needing your fashion services – ha ha). Anyways… apparently my lack of fashion sense even affects me in an area I felt safe — sportswear! I tried out my new Camelbak tonight and I swear — either I’m the dumbest runner in the world — or the company really should include at least a small pamphlet or SOMETHING telling me how to adjust all the straps, where to hook the tube, etc.  I seriously think my pack is practical, cute and so much better than wearing my old waist pack that was forever riding UP on my body and was always bouncing around. BUT…. I just couldn’t figure out how to place the cool drink tube in a way that didn’t end up with a giant loop hanging off my right shoulder! I tried to adjust the tubing to it was shorter and then the drink part was smacking me in the face. I know these packs are all the rage and I know my running buddy has one that works just great — so I think it’s a “user error”.  I’m looking forward to seeing my pal on Saturday so she can have a good laugh at me — and then give a girl some help with the dang thing!

My tempo run tonight was supposed to be – 1 mile warm – 5 miles at 10:18 goal pace (tempo), then 1 mile cool down. Here’s my split times for the tempo part — 11:31, 11:14, 10:08, 10:20 and 9:46. It was pretty hot out there so I had a hard time getting right on pace at first (which is pretty common and totally ok since your body’s working harder in higher temps and you don’t want to push too hard and end up with heat stroke or something) — but as the sun set, you can see I was able to pick up the pace by mile 3 and held it pretty close for mile 4 and I was pretty darn pleased with myself, running in the dark for hitting such a sweet mile 5! 

I felt fine for the run, other than a tight right hamstring that was giving me some trouble.

It’s such a funny feeling when I run lately. I try my best to keep my pace on track with what the schedule calls for. As you can see – I’m still a newbie at this and often am erratic still. My buddy, B, however is amazing. She can just “sense” her pace and rarely looks at her Garmin. I bet by the time I’m preparing for my 3rd marathon (as she is) I’ll be better at reading my pace without constantly peeking at my watch. But, here’s the thing that’s nagging at me in my head —- I sort of wonder WHAT I can really do after this much training — as in — I’d sort of like to just get out there and RUN full blast sometimes —but so far I haven’t. I’m still sorely reminded of how suddenly my last injury came on – and how much time it caused me to have to sit on the side and watch everyone else running while I waited for my turn again. It’s crazy though. Sometimes I really want to just go FASTER to see what I’m able to do now. I don’t expect I’m the next Paula Radcliffe or anything — but I do think I’d surprise myself if I could really give it a go. On tonight’s tempo run, I never felt a side ache or even that I was putting on the gas that much. It was a good run and certainly a faster pace than I do in my “easy” short and long runs — but — it wasn’t that tough. Hmm…. maybe once this marathon is over, I’ll have a little fun at a local track or something — just to see where I’m really at. This might sound crazy, but I “think” I could do an 8 min mile — at least for that short distance — if I pushed myself! I’d sure like to try. Maybe that will be my “reward” after I’ve recovered from the marathon — a speed workout where I just lay it all on the line — and see what I’m made of. Hmm….

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