Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Weekly training update: 5/13-5/19

The week, in training:

Monday: 3.1 miles (with the stroller!)
Tuesday: 4 miles +  BODYPUMP (taught)
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 5.35 miles
Friday: ~12 miles on bike
Saturday: 7.38 miles + BODYPUMP (taught)
Sunday: 3.17 miles

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My outfit had been painstakingly selected - and reselected. Teeth were brushed and mouthwash was swished. My hair was smooth and deftly pulled back into a low ponytail. My favorite BIC Band was slid on.

It was my first date. My first rundate, and I wanted to look my best.

I don't normally run with people or a group - strangely, people don't like to show up at my house at 5:20 a.m. to run my neighborhood routes - and I've become accustomed to the solitude of I found on early morning jaunts and the long run. I can punk out on pace when I want or go balls to the wall if the spirit moves me (though it usually doesn't). I don't have to look nice, smell nice or even be nice.

But when a professional acquaintance asked whether I wanted to meet on the Greenway, I said yes, doing my best to mask my enthusiasm. Even if it meant I would feel inclined to put in a bit more effort. I was going to run! With people! Who were faster!

So at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, I drove to a new-to-me section of the trail and met B and her friend. They had 12 miles on deck but I was going to join them for just a section - 4 out and then do the 4 back on my own. I got a bit nervous as the ladies chatted, strapping on fuel belts. B is a Boston qualifier and was recounting a 5K win the previous week after a "warmup" of 10 miles.


We set out along the trail and I did my best to quell my nerves. And keep up. B's friend asked about pace and B checked her watch, saying it was a manageable 9:00. I checked my watch and saw it was a less than manageable 8:20. The MOTOACTV can be a bit funny when showing current pace, tending to fluctuate more than a Garmin, and I hoped that it was just a quick minute because I most definitely cannot hold an 8:20 for long - especially after a long Wisconsin recovery.

But it wasn't just a quick minute. It was a quick mile - 8:38. I did my best to hang on, laughing as the ladies swapped stories, and reminded myself that I could do my own thing once I hit my turnaround. I stopped just shy of the 2-mile mark for nuun, urging the ladies to go ahead and that I'd catch up. Really, I just needed to breathe.

And good thing I did because as we turned the corner, the hills came. Oh, the hills. They make you stronger, yes, but after mile 2 clocked in at 8:33, I was in no shape to make strong climbs. I leaned forward, took small steps and drove forward as best I could. I knew, though, that I was done and when I hit the third mile (a 9:01) I said a quick goodbye and made an even quicker exit. Too bad there wasn't an "emergency" call to get me out of it.

I ran a bit down the trail before stopping for more nuun. As I paused between sips, I inhaled deeply and exhaled even more so. Heading back so early had not been in the plan for the rundate, and I couldn't help but be a bit bummed. Like so many before me, I made the mistake of letting my imagination go wild with expectation. I was going to totally click with the ladies, garnering regular invites and becoming crazy speedy in the process.

While it's probably not going to pan out that way, I will say that I'm thankful for the miles I did get. I found a bit of speed in my legs and discovered that, in fact, Fort Wayne does have hills. It's a handy thing to know as I work toward Hood to Coast.

More importantly, I learned that I need to start speaking up when I'm having trouble. Yes, B and her friend knew I'm not the their speed but I never asked them to hold back because I was embarrassed. And that's just dumb.


  1. Well done you for braving it in the first place! I've wanted to join a running club for years and never had the guts. Don't let it put you off now you've made the leap - there may be another running club in your future!

  2. Oh the hills. I crave hills now!

  3. Run with them again and let them know next time! :) And running a little bit faster with friends, from time to time, is good for you, too. Well, if you are in the mood for that. I have some friends I run with only if I want to run faster ;)

  4. I would have done the same thing, run along not saying anything about the pace. Glad you got a few speedy miles in! :0)

  5. You should definitely run with them again -- next time just let them know what you need the pace to be. I'm sure they would be accommodating.