Sunday, January 29, 2012

When A Turtle Runs Among The Hares

It felt like race day morning today.  Eight miles with 2 mother runner friends who have more running experience than me AND who are much faster than me.  Four marathons between them, and I let them run with me.  They ran 8 miles with me for fun.  Neither girl was training for a race, just me.  I was nervous!  Nervous and self-conscious about my turtle pace, about slowing them down.

Well, I left my insecurities at home and met with the girls at 8am because darn it, I'm getting my 8 miles in today.  I wish I took a pic of the three of us because I stood out like a sore thumb!  My friends looked more like runners with their running tights and cold weather running gear, and there I was with my running skirt over COTTON tights.  Yes, you read that right...COTTON non-running tights.  I think I looked more like someone who rolled out of bed in her jammie jams than someone who's going to run 8 miles.

I told them how far I had to go, and C decided on the course, a course I'm familiar with and have done a couple times before.  I decided I wasn't going to look at my Garmin and just follow the girls.  I didn't want to know my pace...sure enough after uploading my run on Garmin Connect later on, I saw that we were doing 8:30-10:30 min. miles and knowing that would've just stressed me out.  My long run comfortable pace is 11 min/mile.  It was nice to get a little big push from them, but it was also nice of them to slow down for me especially around the hilly parts.
Omg the hills around here are hard to avoid.  I used up every ounce of mental toughness in me to run up those hills with the girls.  C and T kept chatting away while I huffed and puffed behind them.  How can they do that?   I told myself I'm going to hang on.  On the long gradual hills, I had to focus on the backs of their shoes to keep myself from stopping and  crumbling into a heap.  On the steeper hills, I hung on every word exchanged between them, feeling like those words formed the rope that pulled me forward.  I knew we were going faster than my long run pace...shoots I felt it.
We stopped at Mile 4.30 to GU and drink, and I was so freakin' relieved.  I sucked on Vanilla flavored GU with caffeine which gave me enough of a kick for the next 2 miles until we hit another freakin' hill, which slowed me down again.  Why am I doing this?  When is it going to stop?  How can I run a full marathon when I can't even run 8 miles without feeling like crap!?!  C and T kept me going.  I could not have made it all the way without them.  I was technically still recovering from being sick, so I let myself go slow when my body needed to.
And why is that last mile always the longest?  

Obviously, I survived!  YAY!  I usually run by myself, so running with friends at THAT pace (averaged 10:30 min/mile) was outside of my comfort zone, and wow am I glad I did it!  I really enjoyed sharing the miles.  I'm happy I got to run with my faster friends, and happy that they want me to run with them again!  So I guess I wasn't THAT slow?  Or maybe paces don't matter so much when you run with friends because there is nothing like having each other out there to pull you through the rough parts or to share stories best told over 8 miles.

Thank you, C and T!  Thank you!


  1. Great run! It's scary to run with faster folks...I'm not that brave yet.

    1. Thanks! Yes, it's scary at first. My friends are awesome, though. I figured if they don't want to run with this slowpoke, they'll stop asking me to go. So far so good, lol!


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