I've been trying all day to come up with a nick name to give the dear woman I was blessed to get to run with today. I decided on Daisy because she is beautiful and cheery. Yeah, I'll admit, it's really corny. But, hey, that's me-corny to the core.
Daisy is a "real" runner, much better than I can imagine being. She used to run marathons but following a severe injury she has had to run much shorter distances. After a few years of recovery (re-read: severe injury), she is working her way back up to a half marathon. She asked me if I wanted to run the trails with her back after Cotton Row was finished...back when I first had to stop running because of my own (NOT severe) injury. So, I reluctantly told her I couldn't do it. She said when I was recovered to give her a shout. I can remember thinking at the time I wouldn't "ever" be able to keep up with her.
And, I didn't keep up.
But, I did manage to speak up at about the half mile mark to let her know that her "very slow" start was still not slow enough for me! She said, "no problem" and slowed down to what must have felt like a crawl and we kept on going strong. When my Garmin beeped at me to say I had, amazingly enough, survived a whole mile, my body started telling me it was time for a walk break. I think that's just more confirmation that I've been conditioned like the Pavlov dog to think it's time to walk when my Garmin beeps--not really when I've reached a mile.
Side note: see, usually when I run that route, I do my warm up on the trail. After the warm up (maybe 5 minutes or a half mile depending on how I'm feeling), I reset my Garmin. So it usually beeps at me at about 1.3-1.5 miles. Today, because I was so worried about not doing well, I did a little 1/2 mile warm up before Daisy got there. We started out running from the start of the trail head... If you're following what I'm trying to say, you see that I usually think I "need" to walk at 1.3 or 1.5 miles but today it was 1 mile---when my Garmin beeped at me.
Anyway...I kept on running and managed to make it to the little uphill incline and then wimped out and told her I was going to have to walk a bit. She said, "no problem" and walked with me until I could breath, then we started running again. I told her that for that whole section of the trail I would probably be doing walk/run intervals because it just completely psychs me out knowing that it's almost a mile long stretch of incline-that you can clearly see. Just seeing it moving upward makes me breath harder. She said, "no problem" and did the intervals with me the whole time.
Until the last little stretch of run. We hit the road that leads back up to the parking lot and I was just about to wimp out again...when she said, "Okay...from here to the car is six minutes at a nice, slow, steady pace." (Meaning...."suck it up buttercup and get it done already!"--although she would never say that.) I told her I had just told another new runner how important it is to finish strong and to "always" run in the last bit." So I put my big girl panties on and said, "Okay, I can do it."
Let me brag just a bit on myself. The last tiny little bit is a slight uphill that I walked on my warm up. I knew it was coming up and my insides were crying. I just fell in behind her and kept putting one foot in front of the other. She gave me a couple of tips that I've given out several times--move your arms a bit faster because that will help your feet, and pick up your knees a bit more. I was breathing harder and harder...and I kept having to play little games with myself. I would think "get to that leaf...that sign....that fence post...the edge of the parking lot" and then I was there!!
She had barely even exerted herself at all, evidenced by the fact that she filled for in my inability to speak with wonderful stories. She asked me how I was feeling when we stopped; I managed to gasp out that I thought I was going to puke. But on the inside I was doing the Rocky dance!!
Needless to say--I do believe that was my very best time on that trail! Even with the walk breaks I took, my average pace was just over 12 (best was almost 9, which was not my best ever sprinting pace on that trail, but that's understandable given the fact the over all pace was better).
I have been on cloud nine all day. Talk about a confidence booster!! I'm SO ready for my six miler on Saturday!!
Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!