It's amazing what a difference 20 degrees makes.
Last week I braved the near sub-zero temperatures to head out for my first run with the Fleet Feet group. And it was cold. And 3 miles seemed like forever. And it was cold. And it took me almost three hours to warm up.
This morning it wasn't bone-chilling cold. The thermometer was hovering around 12 and the Weather Channel told me the wind chill was 7 degrees. Not bad. While it was warmer today, I also had to deal with the 3 or so inches of fresh snow on the ground. Still I'll take that instead of the Arctic air that was in place last weekend.
The group was small again - 4 coaches, 3 runners - but I kind of like the small size. More one-on-one attention and I have a feeling people will really start to get to know you better. After a short stretch, we headed out for 6 miles. The roads in the park weren't plowed, so running in the tire tracks our cars had made earlier was the easiest, but once we left the park, the roads were pretty clear. There were a few icy spots, but overall it was pretty decent running conditions.
Along the way there was chatting about goals, the Fleet Feet "clubhouse" where we'd gather for breakfast after the run (although I don't think the people who lived there knew were would be coming), races we've done and our past history with running. We apparently made one driver mad - she was in the opposite lane of traffic and laid on her horn and gave us a very unfriendly gesture as she drove by us. We're not quite sure what her problem was. I think the general consensus was lack of coffee on her part.
Overall the run was good and I'm really enjoying the group. It wasn't a super fast pace (not even sure how long it took since I managed to not start my Garmin) and trudging up the hills (I lost count how many there were) was a little painful at times, but I did it. And I liked the fact that even when I did slow down, there was another runner who hung back with me. Pushed me a bit, talked to keep my mind off the fact that we were less than a half mile from the end. And there was no pausing for a walk break at all today. Plus I left the group with a training plan in my hand. Looks like I'll be transitioning into a 5-day a week runner. Gulp. But I say bring it.
Now it's time to be lazy and wait for the Badger basketball game to tip off in 3 hours.