so, today we had 9 miles on the schedule with the running group. Last week's weather was so hideous, and it was chilly last night, so I prepped before I went to bed by laying out long pants instead of my usual cropped tights, a long tank underlayer, a short-sleeved tech shirt and a long-sleeved shirt to go over that. I set out my gloves and my Love the Half jacket, too, since I was thinking it would be in the lower 30s. But when I got up and checked the weather, it was only in the 40s, so I chucked the short-sleeved layer. Glad I did, too, because I started getting hot by about mile 2 and took the gloves off. By mile 3, I stripped off the top jacket and tied it around my waist, then I even went a few minutes with the sleeves of my shirt pushed up to my elbows. It was humid, more than it's been in a while, so that made it seem warmer than it was. In the end, though, the weather was pretty good for the run, and I had the layer mix just right.
So, the workout. We went out a little faster than intended, but our pace leader caught up to us and told us we'd want to conserve energy, as she had "some surprises" for us at the end. Now, considering that the end of the workout already consists of the Monster Hill, I wasn't looking forward to this. But, we slowed down to closer to a true 11-minute mile until it was time to turn around. We hit the turnaround point at 49:17 which means we were running faster than 10:57 since that included TWO water stops. We don't lollygag for any amount of time, that's for sure, but it does take a little while. Felt strong and sure for the return leg, and despite a little bit of a twinge on my lower left hamstring on an uphill, I didn't have any trouble.
Then, we get to the base of the hill. Our pace leader told us to gather at the bottom of the hill and explained what we were going to do. She said it was totally optional, and if we weren't feeling it, we could just go on up the hill and then continue the last half-mile to the gathering point. Like any of us were going to choose that! She picked a mailbox a couple of hundred yards up the hill, told us to stride up it, then jog back down, drop and do 10 pushups, then repeat. Twice. ugh. So, yeah, it was a bit of a push to do that after running 8 miles. The hardest part for me, though, was not the strides but physically dropping down to do the push-ups. It was just creakier than I expected, and during the second set, the tightness in the back of my leg morphed into a full-out cramp that triggered a total collapse to the ground while it subsided. Didn't hurt, but caught me by surprise, so I ended up laughing my a$$ off flat on the ground while the rest of the group got up and started their ascent. So I ended up last up the hill. No worries. I got it done.
After we'd done the repeats, we were instructed to motor up the hill, taking as long as we needed to as long we RAN and didn't slow to a walk. Even if we were taking the smallest steps possible, as long as we were technically running, we were OK. And that's what I did. I made it up the hill for the second week in a row, even after having to climb the first part of it multiple times. Jan says that next week, 9 miles into the run when we hit the hill again, we'll be so glad we only have to go up it once it will be cake. I don't know if I believe it yet. I'll have to let you know!!
So, there was the workout for today. Very nice run when it was all said and done. AFterward, we went into Dallas for a balsa wood glider competition Elder Child particpated in, then we stopped by an aunt's house for lunch and little visiting. On the way home, we drove into downtown and walked around Dealey Plaza for a little bit. Neither of the boys had even been there before, and it just seemed like the right thing to do today. I wish Hub wasn't in Mexico City, though -- he would have enjoyed all the conspiracy theorists set up around the knoll. It was interesting to explain the whole thing to them -- even TDP Dino Boy was pretty fascinated by it. I was hoping there would be more documentaries on it tonight so they could learn more, but no luck. Anyhoo, getting ready for bed soon -- yes, it's early, but I don't have to go anywhere next week and I'm taking advantage of the cold weather to just hang out and hibernate for a few days.