The story of two halves.

Finally, Spring has sprung in Central Virginia.    This week of 10K training was the story of two halves.   The first run was in Central Virginia, where it was mid 30's and dreary.  The second run was completed in Phoenix, Arizona where it was dry, sunny, and in the middle 50's.      I enjoyed running in the dry air of Arizona....for lack of a better description, it seemed lighter than here at home.  My body was somewhat confused by the changes, but all in all, it was a good solid week.
This morning was our "race prep" run.   My wonderful YMCA 10k Training Team coaches arrived early and had set up a starter tent, complete with music and excitement to mimic the adrenaline rush that accompanies a racing event.  They even set up a water stop (SAG- for stop and go) at the midway point folks a chance to practice the transition into grabbing a drink of water.  Hint, it is much ore difficult than you could ever imagine.  I recall my first run where I stopped at a water stop that was a such a delight to see.  I grabbed a cup from the hands of a wonderful human being and made an effort to drink it.  I ended up cooling myself with spilled water, choking, losing my running and breathing rhythm and being scared of a water stop for about two years.  PRACTICE :)  

Our route today was a 3.2 mile loop, which we did twice to mimic a 10k(plus a tad extra to help us feel confident in two weeks when we do the real thing).   Much like my week, today's run had two halves.   I made my goal of completing the second lap three minutes quicker than the first.  I used miles 1-3 to loosen up, get my breathing right, and settle my joints down, and then picked up to a challenging but doable pace for lap two.  

As I reached the end, I can honestly say I felt really good.   To be truthful, it brought a tear to my eyes that I was able to get out on a beautiful morning and enjoying something that I love, in spite of rheumatoid arthritis.  I sat in the Honda, bowed my head, and gave thanks for the opportunity to run, and the ability to feel good doing so.   And then I sat there, car off, in silence feeling grateful.    

To wrap a perfect morning, I came home and sat on the front porch with a piping cup of hot tea, and admired some of the blooms making their first appearance of the year.    The older I get, the more I notice and appreciate things that I had missed in the past.    Be well friends, Happy Easter, and have a great week.


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