Pool is still closed. As a result, Wednesday's scheduled swim turned into "sleep in", but today's scheduled swim turned into an adhoc "run with co-workers".
Normally I run alone. At my own pace, my own trail, my own distance. But yesterday afternoon, I was invited to run with some colleagues who had travelled in for work training and since the pool was down, I figured it was better than sleeping in again.
New trail. In the dark. With people I have never run with. Sure, why not?
So who are these people who have invited me to an early morning run? I found myself in the company of an multi-year ironman triathlete who also qualified for Kona in 2006, a woman who maintained an 8min mile pace at the Boston Marathon, and a local marathon runner (and new triathlete) who completed marathons this past Dec and Jan with paces around 10:15mi/mi.
They decided this morning to go out for an easy six.
Let me just say that their idea of an easy six and my idea of an easy six don't quite line up. I should have seen that coming, ya' think?
(Take a look at my sidebar again to get a notion of my inexperience and lack of blinding speed.)
So we got started and I look down at my Garmin and we've at about a 9:45min/mi pace. Holy Smokes!!
Let's put this into perspective. When I do 'speed work' I try to maintain about an 8min mile pace for short distances. This is difficult, but doable for me. My fastest stand-alone 5K was at a 9:15min/mile pace. This was also difficult for me. My body thinks this is 'running hard'. My idea of an easy run is somewhere in the 12:00-13:00min/mile range. And six-seven miles is 'long' for me.
Being the generous people that they are, they slowed down when they realized that while they were staying aerobic and having a nice conversation, my breathing was a bit more labored and I was starting to fall back.
In the end, it was all good. I think we averaged an 11:30min/mi pace overall - faster than I would have run on my own, but not too fast.