The last two runs of week 7 seemed harder than the first run that week, so I wasn't sure what to expect with my first run of week 8.
Except for one really nice day when I wore jean shorts, all my other runs were done wearing a pair of jeans, a baggy top or two, and lately a windbreaker or jacket. Well, today was another windy day, but mild enough that I decided to be brave and wear the running clothes I'd bought last month; stretchy form-fitting capri length bottoms and a matching form-fiting top. I say brave because, while I've lost 15 lbs so far during this journey, I'm still 50 lbs overweight.
So I got ready and drove to where the trail begins, parked the car, got out and waited, then waited some more for my Garmin watch to establish a GPS location. When it finally did I began the podcast with the usual brisk walk.
The 5 minute warmup was almost over when I noticed a group of 5 bicyclists were stopped at the crosswalk just ahead, and then realized they were waiting for me to go past them first before they crossed over. I tried to increase my walking pace but I don't think it was noticably faster. With all those eyes watching me I felt stiff and awkward. Then, just as I came abreast of them Laura cued me to being running, which I did, thankfully.
My next distraction was only 50 or so steps ahead - a lady and 2 young girls walking toward me on the wrong side of the path. Instead of going around them I forged straight ahead. They stepped aside for me (it was either that or I was going to run them over!), but just as I passed them the lady asked me something. I couldn't hear her with the music playing so I stopped and removed an ear bud. She wanted to know if the path we were on looped around. No, it's about a 5 minute walk to the end. Thank you. You're welcome. Off I went again.
I had some trouble finding a steady pace after starting up again too fast trying to make up for stopping. And the week 8 music wasn't helping any, but I eventually managed to slow down and settle in. After all those runs in jeans I was really loving my new running clothes. The stretchy material allowed me to lift my legs more freely and with less effort.
As I ran on I saw 2 ladies with large dogs coming toward me on the left side, taking up more than half of the path. I always stay close to the right side edge to allow plenty of room for others to pass. Since they weren't leaving much room and not paying attention they were really startled when a bicyclist zoomed by them from behind and swerved in front of them so I'd have room to get by. As I ran past them one of the ladies complained to the other one about the bicylist, saying he came too close to her dog. My thinking was, then keep them out of the middle of the path, sheesh.
So I was chugging along a while later when I saw another bicylist coming toward me. Something about the shape of the helmet looked odd. I couldn't figure it out so I kept glancing at it as he came closer, and just as he passed me I realized what it was, a video camera was mounted on his helmet. Wonderful, I was looking straight at it. I can only hope it wasn't on.
After a while the path entered a wooded section, out of the wind. I was watching a squirrel on a tree by the path up ahead, wondering how close I'd get before it took off. The squirrel was climbing down the tree trunk when it seemed to suddenly become aware of me. Instead of running off, though, it froze in place and didn't move a muscle as I ran past. So cute.
The woods didn't last nearly long enough before I was once again out in the open with the wind. Windy enough that I had to lean into it. Someone on a bicycle passed me from behind. I glanced over just in time to see it was the guy with the helmet mounted video camera. Oh, lovely! Now my backside has been captured on video?!?
I was still tring not to think about things like viral youtube videos when I finally reached the midway point and turned back.
Once again I came upon those 2 ladies with the large dogs, heading back on the wrong side of the path this time, but still taking up more than half of it. Luckily they stepped off onto the grass for a potty break (for the dogs!), so I was able to pass by them without incident.
Plodding on, I was surprised when I passed the landmark where I'd previously ran the furthest, with about about 5 minutes of running stll left to do.
Right after that point I saw a man heading my way walking his 2 ankle biters, one of which wasn't on a leash. At least he was on the correct side and not all spread out. I really wish everyone would obey the leash rules in a public area because they're not always obedient. Sure enough, as I went by them the little mutt ran toward me. I kept on running with the dog following close on my heels. The man tried to call his dog back and when that didn't work he had to run after him. Ha ha, serves ya right, mister! He'd caught the dog fairly quickly, but it was amusing while it lasted.
A few minutes later Laura said it was time to walk again, and I was amazed at how far I'd ran compared to last week even after taking into account the extra two minutes in week 8. I finished up the cool down then switched over to an audio book for the rest of the walk back.
I continued to people watch as I walked, exchanging a smile with a lady in her sixties who was roller blading cautiously along on slightly unsteady legs. I gave a mental thumbs up to the large man walking ahead of me. Then I realized I was catching up to him, someone walking slower than me. He must have heard either my heavy feet or my heavy breathing because he turned around and looked at me. I couldn't walk any faster so I was going to have to jog past him. Last time I tried something similiar was two runs ago and it took all my effort and willpower to move my legs fast enough to pass the person. This time I broke into a nice jog with relative ease as I passed him and went ahead a bit further before easing back into a walk. Wow, wasn't expecting that.
I finished walking the rest of the way back to my car feeling rather pleased with myself. And when I got home and uploaded my data I found I'd beaten my previous best time by 3 minutes.
Total distance: 3.2 miles.
5K time: 50 minutes 16 seconds (combination of W8R1 podcast and extra walking - told ya all I was slow).