Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ask and You Shall Receive

Good Morning Sunshines!!

In my attempts to figure out this running business,  become a good runner, and well... let's be honest here, just be able to complete the 13.1 miles that I'll have to run in 61 days, I have been seeking advice from anyone and anything who is willing to give it to me.  On Sunday, my old college roommate, Carly was in town, so we met for coffee to do some catching up.  During our chat, we started talking about running.  She wanted me to meet her for a morning run, but as she is an experienced runner and I am not, I told her that she'd be running laps around me and that I'd rather not go.  She in turn told me that in order to maintain endurance for long runs, she jogs at a pace so slowly that someone could walk right along side her.  She encouraged me to try this snail pace on my next run and naturally, I complied.

Flash forward 24 hours later and there I was, at my college track getting ready to run like a snail (and all this time I thought it was "run like the wind"... who knew?).

Lately I've been running my first mile at a pace of 8:54 (read: 8 minutes 54 seconds).  By the end of my three or four mile runs I've been averaging a pace of 10: 30-11:03.  To me, this is slow.  But clearly, I know nothing! So using the tips from Carly, I tried to slow my pace down and managed to turn my first mile into a 9:44.  I then did miles 2-4 as slowly as I could, but was still very aware that my legs were carrying me faster than they should.  At mile 3, I decided to do a run/walk combination.  I was walking the first curve of the track and running the next straightaway, curve, straightaway, then walking the curve again.  Somewhere along the line I had texted Danielle and said, "I can't slow down!  I'm trying so hard but my legs just go.  I think I could if I had someone to run with me to pace me.  I'm alone right now."

(Enter blog title here) Dun Dun Dun... I met a pacing partner.

As I was walking, I literally walked right up beside this guy who was jogging so slowly it looked almost painful.  He said hi and we started in some small talk.  After about one tenth of a mile I realized that this was my opportunity to practice my slow running.  We got to the starting point and I increased my walk to a slow jog.  We continued to talk and 'run' (although I'd hardly call what we were doing running), and before I knew it I had put in 5 more laps!  When I finished, I had run 5.39 miles.  I was beside myself!  I had never run this far before, and the best part was I could have kept going.  Since we were talking the whole time I wasn't paying attention to how hard it was to force myself to run slowly-- it actually came pretty naturally.  I contemplated going further, but I'm following a training plan and I didn't want to push myself to the point of injury.

At the end of my run my new "friend", Eddie and I exchanged numbers.  Normally, I'm not one to just give my number out to anyone, but I figured I had literally asked the running gods for a pacing partner and he practically fell from the sky.  I couldn't pass up this opportunity.  I also weighed the facts that he is a police officer, the college track is usually packed during weekday mornings from 8:00 am - 11:00 am., and I almost always run with my friends, Stephanie and Phillip (it just so happens that on this particular day, neither of them could make it).  So I figured even if he was a creeper, or had the potential to be, I'd be safe with other people around.

My next run is scheduled for Wednesday morning, so I told my new friend to meet me around 8:30am.  I'm going to give this slow running thing another shot.  I'll keep you all posted!  Until then, I'm off to the Mid-State Fair to see Jason Aldean and Thompson Square!  Gettin' my Yee-Haw on!!

Happy running!  Happy Tuesday!

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