Thanks to someone else's flikr account, here is a picture of Springbank Park down by the river/dam side of the park. I run along this path quite often and these are the two sights I see the most - Canada Geese and walkers! :)
Today's run was tough for me. My running partner, Kim, is sick. When we arrived home from Stratford on Saturday night, there was diarrhea all over the living room (our home is all hardwood, but without fail, whenever a dog is sick, it is always in the one room where we have carpet. :( They must think of the carpet as a substitute for grass?) Kim can get into things out in the bush where we walk him and sometimes the garbage at home so this happens every once in awhile. He wanted to come running, but I took the other two with me today because he has not keeping his food down. He's more energetic this evening and even ate a small amount of food so hopefully the worst is over. :(
This is why I was feeling stressed and why I didn't sleep well last night. I wanted to forgo my run from the time I woke up feeling so tired and out-of-sorts. :( However, I am really committed to my training program, and I don't want to miss runs unless I absolutely have to. I didn't mind skipping a few runs in the first few weeks of the program because it was a little aggressive, and I needed to watch it so that I didn't increase my mileage too dramatically, but this reasoning no longer applies so I have to watch my "excuse versus wise decision" ability!
I made an error and drank too much water before I started my run so I felt like I was carrying a water tank in front of me - literally! - for the first few km. By the time I reached the top of a hill and checked my Garmin to see that I was at 4K, I wanted to quit. I just didn't feel it and I felt like this run was stressing me more rather than de-stressing me. However, I was literally at the furthest point away from my vehicle so it was either walk/jog back to the vehicle in spurts, or suck it up and keep going! So I kept running ...
And this is when Angus, the Running Trainer, took over my run. He must have sensed that I was struggling because he became much more assertive about us keeping the pace right about this time. I had my final big hill to run, and to my surprise, my pace up it was actually quite good, but it had everything to do with Angus pulling me up the hill - he was not stopping! Usually when he gets a little too fast with the pace, I say his name sternly and he slows a little, but this time I just let him take the lead up the hill because it helped me to run faster. He kept the faster pace so I used him as the "leader" and did my best to stay with him. Wallace was only too happy to join in and jaunt along with us with a gleeful look on his face. :) I was realizing today that I am the slowest of the running partners and now that my 4-legged mates are getting a taste of the faster pace, they want it more! :) :)
5K - 6:58
6K - 6:54
I just have to work at making all my splints like this. :)
So, as it turns out, in the grand scheme of things, my run actually did prove to be a de-stressor. I didn't really enjoy it that much, but it contained some highlights and I felt less stressed after the run. I followed it with a yoga class at the fitness club, knowing that an hour of poses and stretches would be great post-run. It was a good idea and as I type this before bed, I am feeling much better. :)
Now I need to focus on waking up tomorrow feeling enthusiastic about striders!! :)