Running with Friends = Awesome!

Today was the first major run since the race last Sunday. I really wanted to rest and let the body recover so I just worked on cardio and some strength training this week. Did a lot of walking -- 12 miles in fact. So today was the day to get back in the saddle.

First stop: Weight Watchers meeting. I couldn't resist but to wear the WW race tech shirt that I got. I got there and weighed in.... DOWN 3.8lbs! W00t! I was really happy! That put me over the 85lbs lost milestone! So during the meeting, there were 3 other people who walked the race; I was the only one who ran it. So it was cool that they gave us a nice 5K trinket to mark the accomplishment. After the meeting, I chatted with a couple of the guys about exercising and progress and such. It was the first time since joining this WW meeting group that I felt a part of the group (I have only joined this particular meeting group about three weeks ago).

After the meeting, it was time for my long run. Thankfully, my friend Mark agreed to run with me (and I mean, 'run'). So I walked to our meeting corner, so I could warm up, and we started our run. Mark is a good runner and I appreciated that he let me set the pace (which is much slower than his usual). He wanted me to try to run the entire distance -- we planned for 4 miles -- without a walk break if possible. I told him that I hadn't even attempted a constant 'run' that long before but I would give it a shot.

The first 7 minutes were at a faster speed than I was used to -- 10:37 -- so I had to take a 1.5 minute walk break. Then I adjusted my speed to something a little more sustainable -- 12:35 -- and we ran at that average rate for 3 miles! I couldn't believe it! I actually ran consistently for 38 minutes without a walk break! Then we slowed it down a bit and took on a nice hill around the last 1/2 mile or so.

Mark was great. We talked strategy and tips, how to approach dealing with hills, and how to stay on pace. He shared some of his run history, which was fascinating. Of course, this was pretty easy for him so he could talk freely. Me, I was concentrating on breathing and not talking nearly as much. But it was all good! When we finished, he was up to running with me more so I am definitely going to take him up on that. I know he will challenge me, in a safe way.

Got home, did some stretching, took a shower, and had some breakfast. What a great way to start the weekend!

Oh yeah, yesterday I stopped by the Pearl iZumi Factory Store on my way home from the office, hoping I could find a few more shirts and shorts to wear. I was worried it would cost me a fortune. So I get there, and the place is awesome! The guy there, Tyler, showed me a bunch of stuff and then we went to the clearance/sale racks. They had TONS of stuff there that he had just shown me -- but here they were all 50% or more off! So I got nice Infinity Tech Shirts for like $15 each! I ended up getting three shirts, two pairs of running shorts, and a good running hat at a great price! FTW!

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