This past weekend, Zen and I ran in the Kirkwood Spring Fling 5K. This was the culmination of an eight week training program headed by one of our neighbors (and running coach) who also goes to our gym.
For the past two months we've had weekly Wednesday evening group runs and then individual runs between those. Running time gradually increased throughout the training period, as did the amount of speed work we did.
Officially, Acadia National Park was closed - you know, government shutdown and all. However, we'd heard that the rangers who were on duty (it turns out that they were volunteers, four of them) weren't turning away or forcing people out - the gates were just closed to vehicle traffic.
In the back lawn area of the hotel we stayed at, past the swimming pool and the hot tub, was a small trail of crushed stone which led into the park. This path was the start of two of my days in Bar Harbor this past weekend. While the air was still crisp and cool, I got to get out and run in the quiet chill of Acadia National Park. During my two runs I saw a total of three cyclists, three hikers, one other runner, and a ranger (driving along the loop road, returning my wave as I ran by).
It was beautiful there, and did I mention the quiet? I could have stayed up there for weeks, just wandering, running, hiking through the park. It was so nice to be able to run along the deserted park roads and trails with almost no one else around.
I think I'll take a break from posting every run here. I'll still be logging them and updating the chart on the running page, but I've been finding that the posts seem repetitive and boring to me. There's only so much you can say about a three mile run (with or without a group). I'll still post if something interesting happens or if I get some revolutionary idea while I'm out, but until that time . . it'll be a bit quieter around here (it'll be difficult to tell though, with the sporadic nature of my runs lately).
It was much cooler this morning which made the run a bit more bearable. I ran the same course as Thursday and was able to complete it without walking this time (which was nice). I was also able to convince myself to run a bit easier; the beginning, I felt, was slower than normal while I think that may have been offset by the end, where I feel like I tried to finish stronger than I'd intended. A very good run overall; it's been a good week back.
It was another hot one today (~ 90 degrees) and there was practically no wind to help with the cooling. I didn't do the group run tonight (I had to stop off at the house and couldn't make it back out in time), but I got a run in anyway. Again, trying to take it easy - my legs had been sore all day (even more than yesterday). I don't know what it is lately, my body doesn't want to listen to me when I try to tell it to slow down. Or maybe it thinks/knows that I secretly don't want it to actually slow down.
At a couple of points today, I didn't think I was going to make it all the back to the house (running), but was able to carrot myself along and made it back piece-by-piece. I think it then took me a good 15 to 20 minutes to really cool down and start to get back to normal; more of a breeze during the run (and especially during my cool-down walk) would have been very welcome.