Saturday I wasn’t supposed to run with a group.
I had my kids this weekend, so I had manipulated my Saturday to allow for a mid-day YMCA drop in that included about 5 – 6 miles on a dreadmill. Uhg. I loathe the dreadmill. I would rather run in cold rain.
But the night before my planned dreadrun, Catalyst texted me & said his mother would watch all of our children if I would agree to run 10 miles with him. Based on his comments, I anticipated meeting 3 or 4 of his friends for some miles...
And that’s how I ended up in a group of about 70 or 80 of my new BFF’s on Saturday. Of course there were a lot of familiar runner faces out there, waiting in the fog till it was time to start our 12 miles route.
Catalyst wasn’t ready to run 12. He hasn’t run more than 8 in a few weeks, and hadn’t properly slept, hydrated or prepared to run 12, but he took my key and said he would meet me back at the car when he split off the main route...
I haven’t had a good run in so long that 12 miles seemed at bit sketch. However, I’ve run 12 – 14 miles about 6 times in the past 4 weeks, so it’s not like I wasn’t sure I could cover the distance. I was just tired of sucking at the distance and wasn't sure I could handle another mental beating.
Nothing hurts a runner more than sucking for what feels like weeks on end... well, except mile 22...
The goal was to run easy for a few miles, and then run even 9’s, and then just try not to suck.
I broke the run into blocks, and once I ran through the block I “started the run over”. My idea was run 2, 6, & 4.
The first 2 miles were run at MRP + 15-30 seconds.
Immediately I was dropped by pretty much everyone I knew. But that’s the detail that often eludes me when I run in a large group. You have to remember to pace yourself at your pace and not others for the sake of running with them. So Catalyst and I settled in with some new people.
Run the next block of 6 at MRP.
Catalyst dropped out here at some point, and I enjoyed a 6 mile run. I wasn’t struggling, I was just conscious of where I was pace-wise and if I slowed too much I picked it up. I took it one block at a time. Run to the corner. Run to the next corner. Run to the...
And the last part of the plan was to run the last block of miles hanging on as close to MRP as possible.
Only, I didn't do that. At all.
See, what had happened wuz... I didn’t suck.
I picked up some familiar runners at mile 7ish and stopped at the SAG* on Grove. We left together... And then at mile 8 I split off from my ‘new group’ and played man hunt for the last four miles because I could.
You know?... Man hunt? Where you pick out a person ahead of you at a race, run him down, and chick him like he’s standing still as you pass? No?
The rules clearly state you have to blow past the guy running like a bada** mother runner.
Seriously... I’m pretty sure that’s what the rules say...
My last four were at MRP minus 30-50 seconds.
So, my training run really couldn’t have gone any better. But just like in all things. I need to wrap up the celebration on this, look at what made it such a success, and plan to make a similar event for my next long run on Wednesday.
And, uh, also, at coffee after the run I kinda remember that next weekend I’m racing a 15K.
*SAG = Support & Gear