Compared to the last couple of weeks, this morning was a real heat wave. It was 28 degrees when we met at the U City Big River Running store. Plus the sun was out! Even so, there was still a lot of snow and ice on the ground, so they modified our route to avoid some of the less clear areas. I was excited for the chance to try out my winter weather modified running shoes.
Since I planned to run 10 miles I figured I should carry water with me, so I got my first opportunity to wear my new Camelbak Marathoner hydration vest.
I already have a waist belt that holds two water bottles but I didn’t have a good option to fit all the rest of the stuff I like to carry without looking really bulky. This vest is great. I fit Chapstick and my car fob in the upper left pocket, a pack of Kleenex in the open pocket below that, two gels in the upper zipped pocket on the right, and my phone in the lower open pocket below that. Then in the back there’s also a pocket above where the water is stored. I didn’t fill the bladder to capacity because I didn’t think I’d need it all but I had a good bit in there and other than the sloshing sounds I couldn’t tell it was back there. Everything I was carrying was so snug against me; I really loved the vest format.
Anyway, we ran to Forest Park. Our route through Clayton was pretty hilly (although not as bad as last week); I’d thought I was warmed up by mile 1 but then around mile 2 I was feeling mentally drained and wondering if I was going to have to walk. I reminded myself that I’m training to be mentally strong enough to be able to do just this type of thing, so I focused on my breathing and kept going and eventually we got to Forest Park.
Somewhere around mile 7 and the rolling hills of Wydown I became more aware of the temp. I think getting all sweaty from running then having to pause for traffic was making me chilly. So in addition to focusing on exhaling on alternating feet I began chanting a mantra.
“Hot coffee. Hot bath. Hot coffee. Hot bath.”
I did this off an on for the last 3 miles. It was actually really helpful because I knew the more I focused on moving forward, the closer I got to those things.
You may wonder what we are doing. Turns out a lot of our group are Friends fans. We were talking about how we look when we run and Phoebe came up. So this is what we were going for.