Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Runners Are The Best Company

This weekend brought two occasions in which I had the pleasure of meeting and enjoying the fine company of several runners. I'll recount one here and save one as part of my Long Island Marathon race report.

Saturday, I attended the last JackRabbit long run in preparation for the Brooklyn Half coming up in a couple of weeks. The last two weekends, I've done (read: tried to do) these runs at a faster pace than I typically do long runs (8:00, 8:30 mins/mile).

For better or worse, my MO is to commit to as many non-conflicting events as possible in order to ensure that I'm motivated to get out and be productive. This life strategy can backfire sometimes (read: often). For example, this weekend, I knew I had the Long Island Marathon on Sunday. I think most people would avoid doing a long run prior to a marathon. I could be wrong, but I can also see how someone would make the case that it's common sense.

But you know what? I signed up for that long run and I intended to follow through. Plus, attendance at all three runs resulted in a free tech shirt. So whether because of principles or the allure of free crap, I saddled myself with two days of heavy running.

BUT...I did strategize a little bit and planned to run the 12 miles in Prospect Park at a 10 minute pace instead of 8:30 hoping it would have little or no impact on Sunday's marathon. I'll talk about that more in my Long Island Marathon race report. For now, I'll focus on my experience during the training run.

First, it was nice running at a slower pace because it's much easier to socialize. Before the group separated a bit, I was able to talk about races, marathons, people's experiences, hear what running clubs they belonged to. It was great.

After awhile, the group did spread out and I spent most of the run with two other women in the pace group. One was a pace group leader and the other was actually from a slower pace group who just caught up with us.  The pace group leader (marathon PR: 3:17) regaled us with stories of her time running high school track and cross country. I can say from experience that the best pace group leaders are entertaining AND precise with their timing. This was no exception.

Only on rare occasions do I remember 12 miles going as quickly as it did Saturday. Simply put, running with those two was a pleasure. We all had things to say and conversation flowed freely and in all directions. We talked about a broad spectrum of topics from running to traveling abroad and some as complex as cultural identity.

At the end of the run, I didn't get their contact information and I only vaguely remember their names. But even as I left and acknowledged this oversight, I wasn't too fazed. As a runner, I keep faith that I'll run into the friends I've made (no pun intended) somewhere along the way.

No comments:

Post a Comment