When I decided to train for the half marathon with my sister, I thought it might be fun to seek out a few other running events leading up to it to use as training runs. One that jumped out at me was the Zoo Run. I didn't realize that this event existed and thought it would be fun.
Today was the run. It took place right at the Forestry Farm Park and Zoo. They set up a 2.5km course that you could either walk, or run two laps to make a 5k. I wasn't sure how they would set up the course, but I thought it was fun that the course actually went through the zoo as well as including a loop in the park.
I was a little bit concerned about the weather forecast, but it turned out to be not too bad. It was cold enough that the puddles were still frozen and the places that would have been muddy were still firm. But it was warm enough that I didn't freeze my butt off.
The animals were quite active as we ran through the zoo. I don't know if they could sense our energy, but it was fun to see. The one wolf was running laps around it's pen as we ran by and the male lion was letting out some pretty loud roars. At one point I came around a corner and saw this little brown goat of some sort standing by the fence, looking at me making it's goat noise. I thought maybe he was cheering me on, in his goat-y way, haha.
On my second lap through the zoo, I came upon a group that had been walking the route and one of the people was an overweight man with a big hoop earring and he was wearing Vibram Five Fingers shoes. He just looked a little bit eccentric-ish. The group was standing by the enclosure with the alpacas. One of the alpacas was in a weird sort of a squatting position. It reminded me a little bit of Kiwi's peeing stance, but I am not sure that alpacas squat to pee. But this eccentric guy yelled at the alpaca "You look dumb!" I just shook my head and kept running. I thought maybe the alpaca was looking at him, thinking the same thing....
The run felt pretty good, and being as it was a 'fun run' it was rather informal and there was no timing. I figured from my watch that I completed it in around 33 minutes, which is not a bad time for me. I really do like running at events because the energy is a lot different than just running by yourself. I think it's easier to push yourself a little harder when there are other people observing you, and when you know if you push just a little harder that maybe you can pass someone. It feels good to pass :)
I missed out on my long run this week because of the awful weather. The thought of running 10k on a track or treadmill seemed painful, so I opted to miss it this week. I have to say, that today rounded out my 8th week of training, with 10 weeks to go and this is the first run I have missed! I don't think that's too bad....I know the long runs are the most important ones, but I don't plan to miss any more. In fact, I am going to try to map out an 11k route in Swift Current so I can run next Saturday when we are there for Easter. I will earn my Easter dinner this year ;)