Daisy had asked me earlier in the week if I wanted to do six with her on Saturday. I had already planned to volunteer at the Sprint Tri Saturday so I had moved my long run to Friday. I thought I was running with Speedy, but I had my days wrong (that's next Friday). Daisy and Warrior have had a long standing Friday morning run date on the mountain....and they graciously invited little ole me to come along!!!
I was so nervous I could hardly sleep...it was bad enough to slow down one runner, but slowing down two? The relieving part of it was the fact I wouldn't have to worry about not holding up my end of the conversation. I could huff and puff my way through the run and just listen to them chat it up as if we were on a Sunday stroll!! ....well, that would have happened, if I had been able to keep them within earshot the whole time--which did NOT happen.
I had originally planned to run six. Warrior had to get to work and Daisy had some other things on her "to-do" list for the day. We decided we'd do the 4 1/4 trail run and I could tack on a couple extra at the end if I wasn't totally dead by then. Amazingly enough, I managed to stay right with them, and even TALK the first couple of miles.
Not too far into the third mile I saved myself from face-planting after my foot hit a stump. Immediately, my heart rate jumped about 10 beats. That was pretty much all she wrote. Not that I quit, but I rulked the rest of the way. Although I managed to keep them in sight, for a good part of the rest of the run they were well outside of earshot for normal conversation. When we neared the end of the trail, I sucked it up and sprinted full on so I could "finish up" with them.....
And then they let me in on the discussion they had the last quarter mile....the one in which they decided to tack on another 3/4's of a mile!! That wouldn't have been too bad, except over half of that was UP HILL. (It was a loop, not an out and back where we would have been able to also go DOWN HILL!) Sweet Daisy said, "you got this girl!!" How could she say that?? Didn't she hear me breathing like a race horse? Couldn't she see I was about to die??!! But, alas, she was right...I did have it. I didn't have it as good as she and Warrior had it, but I had it.
As if those hard miles weren't enough, after getting some more water and saying good bye to my running mentors...I tacked on an extra mile and a third!! It was the slowest mile of the day--because 1) it was rolling hills on the road the whole time, 2) I didn't have two amazing runners to try to keep up with, and 3) I was TIRED!! But, even still....I did sprint in to the finish.
Here's the thing.....
I wish I could just keep my pace nice and steady. Instead I RUN, walk, RUN, walk...my pace varied considerably every single mile. If I've got the strength and energy to basically "sprint" (relatively speaking), then it seems like I should be able to maintain a steady pace somewhere in the middle.
Here's my pace data/splits:
- best: 8:16, average: 12:06, total: 12:07
- best: 9:19, average: 11:40, total: 11:41
- best: 8:55, average: 13:03, total: 13:04 (the mile I just about face-planted, I slowed way down!)
- best: 8:56, average: 12:25, total: 12:26
- best: 8:29, average: 11:29, total: 11:30
- best: 9:00, average: 12:39, total: 12:40
- best: 8:16, average: 13:17, total: 3:44 (last quarter mile)--notice my best pace was the same for mile 1 as it was for this last little bit.
I think when I'm alone I can better maintain a steady pace--it's just a lot slower.
...You know what?? This kind of run is basically a fartlek. I'm going to be okay with it. No, more than that---I'm GOOD with it. ...No...really, I'm GREAT with it.
It was a great run. Period!!
Thanks for stopping in, come again soon.