You can't wipe that smile off my face.
Darn! I thought the previous Saturday’s AREC run was the official kickoff for the Long Beach Marathon training program. Turns out it was just a preview. No wonder not many people showed up. Well last Saturday was the official beginning and in addition to the people who signed up the week before, a few more showed up. One of the clues was that the mileage was the same as the previous week. Normally, it would have increased by another mile.
I can’t say my joints were fully recovered but what was surprising was the body part that hurt the most and longest was my lower back. The anticipated pain in the ankles was also present (mostly on the right) and I didn’t try running again until Thursday and that was just on the treadmill. I was trying to save my ankle tendons for Saturday. With the official kickoff came the lengthy introductions which some said lasted longer than usual and the people who have been coming out for years were getting antsy. It wasn’t until 7:50 a.m. that we got the running started. Once again I followed the 12 minutes per mile pacers – Michael and Rosie. We were joined by Jean and some new members: Jimena, Melissa, and a couple of others whose names escape me now. Michael led the 3 mile people and Rosie, the 5 mile group. With all the chatting the group did, I wasn’t aware that someone was taking pictures until we almost bumped into him. Thanks Ara! Jimena recently moved to Long Beach from Monterey, Mexico because her job was establishing an office here. In the past, she ran some major marathons like New York and Chicago. Another lady said she ran L.A. last March using the Galloway method doing 1 minute of running and 1 minute of walking, so running continuously was new to her. Melissa won a free entry to the Wrigley River Run when her name was picked during a random drawing during the introductions and she said she was going to do it even though she didn’t feel ready. So their stories kept us entertained which in turn kept my mind off my ankles and pretty soon we were cruising into the last mile at an easy pace effort. We finished in less than an hour so it was slightly below 12 minutes per mile. Good enough for a second consecutive week of running for me. Next week will be six miles. Would I want to wake up early again next Saturday morning? Stay tuned.
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