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The “summer running group” Matt + I run with during our time off started yesterday.  However, this year, things are a bit different for me.  This group has some fast cookies among them… too fast for a preggo like me to keep up with.  So, while I’m excited to have the chance to run with a group, most of my runs will be solo – or until Matt is able to run my mileage with me.

[Side note:  Matt’s been injured on and off for several years now – pretty much since we’ve been married.  Every time he seems to heal, he comes down with some other injury.  I am hoping I can heal him with my magical powers by teaching him the art of barefoot running, or at least starting to run midfoot instead of heel-toe.]

One of the greatest things about this group is that we go to a different trail/running spot every day.  It’s nice to break it up from the monotony of my same route every day.  Yesterday’s particular run took me back to a place I know very well and haven’t run in since October.  This was the trail I used for every single one of my long runs while training for Chicago.

I have a love/hate relationship with this trail.  There are 3 different “trailheads” (I use that term loosely since it is a paved running/biking path) to start from, so you get a variety of options, even though they all go along the same trail.  It is also almost completely shaded from start to finish, making hot summer runs much more bearable.  Plus, there are plenty of drinking fountains (score!) and bathrooms (double score!) along the way.  But, it also reminds me of the torturous long runs in the dead heat of summer.  Blech.

Yesterday was definitely a hot one.  With humidity at 89%, temps in the 80s, and not a cloud in the sky, I was definitely loving the shade and drinks.  I went a little longer than I had planned – 4 instead of 3 miles – because I knew at the turnaround point there was a potty.  And Lord, did I ever need it!  I swear my bladder has shrunken to the size of a peanut, and it doesn’t help that my little girl keeps kicking me in it.  Not pleasant at all…

It’s amazing the difference between training for a marathon on this course and just doing a short little run.  My run yesterday seemed to fly by!  I’m used to doing 20 milers on this trail, so it was wonderful to not even get to my long run turnaround point before I got to turn around.  It’s incredible how skewed your mind can get when running long distances.

Speaking of long distance, I came to the realization this weekend that my runs are going to have to be short and sweet during this heat we are having.  I went out for what I was hoping to be a 6 mile run on Saturday morning at 7 AM, but quickly realized 6 miles just ain’t gonna happen.  So, I have begrudgingly decided to keep my runs around 4 miles (a lot of 3 milers in there but maybe throw in a 5 or a 6 on cooler days) until the baby arrives.  It’s just going to get harder as my belly keeps growing and the heat keeps rising!