Today was our first group run for Winter Warriors - and it was about 55 and sunny. That was definitely a perk, but there were a few hiccups along the way.
I have never run with a pace group. Even when I trained for the Marathon with Team In Training, a couple of other girls and I went rogue and did our own thing instead of running with a pack. Team In Training seemed pretty flexible in that way, where as Chicago Endurance Sports (the group I'm training with now) seems less so. So I stared off with the 11:00 pace group and figured I would go from there.
We start off in the neighborhoods, just a bit from the lakefront path. We were told that there was a specific starting point that was measured exactly from a mile marker on the path, so that they could create running routes for us. Totally logical. Except ... the starting point was about one block from a hairy three way intersection. So we ran one block and then stood at a stoplight for (what felt like) forever.
Due to the approaching winter, there isnt really any water available along the lake. We were told to bring our own water, but we still stopped for water anyway. There is one big water trough that is open year round - about 1.5 miles into our running. Our pace leaders said we were stopping because a lot of people didnt have their own water, but that we should make sure to bring it in the future. There were tons of people at this fountain and we had to sit there and wait. And wait. And wait. 1.5 miles into a 5 mile run.
We stopped at the same fountain on the way back
We were a bit short of 5 miles. I know that .13 miles is pretty much nothing, but I guess I'd rather go over the distance than under it. Oh well!
Despite the fact that I was with an 11:00 minute mile pace group, we ran 11:30's.
Time:56:02   Distance:4.87 mi   Pace:11:30
I am going to be honest and say I'm glad my pace group was doing 11:30's instead of 11's, but that isnt what I had intended. I'm still struggling a bit to get back into the swing of things and needed the slower pace, but I'm hoping that in a week or two that wont be true any more. The first mile was so slow because of that stinking stoplight - after that huge delay I actually stopped my watch at the water stop (twice) and the intersection on the way back. If I had kept it running I would have paced at 12 minute miles for the whole run, easily :(
Though I did struggle a bit today, I have now officially completed my first week back on the wagon. I felt fine at the end of the run, and still feel fine now a few hours later.
Next weeks plans? At least one 5AM run, and a 6 miler on Saturday!