I seriously wish the half marathon was this week. We've been training forever and I'm really looking forward to going back to doing regular easy, shorter, lazy distance runs.
I did two noteworthy runs this past week. One was an 18 K run with Renee on Sunday (she wrote about that over at the PRC blog) and the other was at the Thursday night group run.
On Thursday, my regular peeps were AWOL and since most everyone seemed to have ran in the morning, we were down to a skeleton crew. It was hills night and with the C2C ever present in my mind, I couldn't skip them, even though there wasn't anyone there to hold me accountable. In fact, the group I had figured on running with weren't doing hills at all. However, I made the mistake of asking, "Is anyone doing hills?"
Carol Ann heard me and the next thing I knew, I was running with her towards Mockingbird. Carol Ann is a much faster runner than me and she was obviously running a little slower so I could keep up. Being aware of this, I attempted to run faster so she wouldn't have to go too slow.
Carol Ann chatted away while I responded with grunts while trying to breathe. This should have been the first sign that I was well out of my depth, but Carol Ann was very encouraging and really seemed to believe that I could keep up with her.
We made it to the hill and connected with the others that Carol Ann usually runs with - Cathy B, Ed M and the Energizer Bunny, Madeline. If there was a flashing neon sign that said "SIGN TWO - YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR DEPTH!" it couldn't have been more obvious that I was well out of my league with this group.
I think I did six hills to their eight and was about to make a break for it at the top after my last repeat, but they caught me trying to sneak away. I was then informed that instead of heading back our usual route, we were running the opposite direction and adding in a cul-de-sac. I tried to decline and play the "I'm too slow for you" card, but it didn't work. I followed along, like the kid brother, lagging behind the group while the others ran in circles at the end of the road until I caught up. Again, I tried to pick up the pace so the others wouldn't be waiting for me.
When we make it back to the community center Carol Ann said we did around 8 K. I was glad that Sugar was already back and waiting for me so we could leave right away. I could already start to feel the strain in my body from the extra exertion. I hadn't fueled for the extra effort because, let's face it, I really hadn't planned on putting in any real effort at all.
I spent the rest of the evening reading all the positive posts about our run on Facebook while I lay in bed trying not to die. I calculated our pace to be about 6:30, hills included. I'm not that great at math, but I'm pretty sure that means our pace on the flat sections was under 6:30. Looks like I added tempo runs to my training.
There are only two more long runs before the half and I don't think I've ever looked forward to finishing something so much. I know the C2C will be on the horizon when we get home but I've decided to stop thinking about that race and just run it on the day. Right now, all my energy is focused on Halifax and being done with training for a while.
Four weeks and counting.