I have become acquainted with a group of very nice guys who run in all the local races. They also run together several days a week from our local Health club. These are “fellowship runs” as one called them, but make no mistake, these guys are good. One of them always ranks in the top three in the masters division in local races. Well, they invited me to run with them–I had seen them at a several races and they offered an invitation. I got up early this morning and met them at 5:30, where it was already 95% humidity and almost 70 degrees.
I struggled to keep up. They have longer strides, are much better runners than I, and have been doing it much longer. I, on the other hand, am a plodder. I work my way down the road at a slow pace. Running with a group forces us slow-pokes to elevate our game. We did the first 2 miles in about 18:00. That is the fastest 2-mile pace I have done in this short return to running–in short, this is my “race pace.” At the 2 mile turnaround we started back at a pretty good pace again. I was winded, not able to carry on a full conversation, as many coaches recommend. But I pushed on and they went a bit a farther, but I completed the entire 4 mile run in 44 minutes, including a short walk break and back-stretch. I was spent. These were nice guys and I’ll run with them once a week for my “quality miles.”
But it felt good to achieve that pace and to work my fanny off.