At the end of my last post I said "next post from deep in the heart of Texas". Turns out, not so much, as here I am again, still in CA.
Did a few things this morning that I hardly ever do. One, training runs with other people; Two, actually meet up with people I've only previously "met" online; Three, run during the last week of a marathon taper and, Four, run faster than ever.
Met up with four great people at the Berkeley Marina for a 7 mile run arranged online by Twitter-mate Julianne a few weeks ago. It was windy, cold and drizzly out there, overlooking SF Bay, the kind of weather that tempts many of us runners to stay in bed with our hands wrapped around a warm cup of joe. But, all five of us made it out, and, at least in my opinion, hit it off well right away. Introductory pleasantries were exchanged, and, as no one looked like anyone any one of us should be afraid of, off we went.
Two of the five are in training for their first marathon (Big Sur and Avenue of the Giants), two others each going for number seven (both running Napa Valley) and then there's me, about to attempt number 23, a week from today in Austin.
I usually use the fact that I'm in taper week as an excuse to not run at all. And, I hardly ever run with anyone else, even though my speed is usually faster when I do train with others. Today was no exception. Allowing for minor discrepencies between different timing devices utilized, we did 7 miles in 1:16...or a screaming good 5.5 miles an hour, the fastest training run mile pace I've ever set. Not sure how much longer I could have kept it up, but my gut says not much. As for the others, I think it was probably a bit slow for them, but I'm nearly 57 and a devout user of the Galloway run/walk thing. I don't think any of them had ever done that before. Despite that, they accomodated the old guy needing to take a one minute walk break after every six minutes of running. By the end of the run I do believe at least a couple of them were kind of liking it.
Short story shortened, it was an excellent way to spend the Sunday morning, making friends, and chalking up the miles. I am glad to have met them all and hope to run with them again...really. Hoping for some more meetups with Daily Mile and Just Finish folks in Austin, then in Napa in March. Have I mentioned I don't often do that?