Sunday, March 9, 2014

Confidence Boost

On the morning of Saturday, March 8, I ran 13.6 miles.  It was my first run with Back on My Feet in a while.  It was the first time I'd had a chance to chat with one of my friends who is running Boston this year--or her mother who ran Boston last year--in a while.

My friend has an interesting training pattern for marathons.  With Boston being only 6+ weeks away now she is getting really close.  She does three long runs of 22 miles, 26 miles, and 30 miles with rest in between each.  Then she takes an extra week of taper.  It is what she did before her best marathon ever.  And runners as a group tend to stick with whatever seems to work.

We started near Patterson Park, ran down to the promenade along the harbor, and ran all the way over to Under Armour.  Then, up to Fort McHenry, back to Baltimore Station (better known as B-Stat) to meet the rest of the Back on My Feet group.  Then, after many pleasantries and the serenity prayer, we ran back to my car and she and her mom continued for a bunch more.  After which Lauren finished up her 26.  

The pace for the first first two miles was a respectable 8:25 and 8:20.  We had talked about not going too fast, as Lauren knows that my best marathon is faster than hers and that she would not be comfortable with the end of her run if she ran too much at my common training pace.

Or so she thought.

Without even noticing while being completely wrapped up in the conversation about running, work, and school (with my academic position and her being in law school), we picked up so that each of the next seven miles was run at a pace of 7:56 of better.  We ended the last mile over to Back on My Feet with just over 8 although if I'd bothered to stop my watch at the one or two traffic lights at which we had to wait we may have stayed under 8:00. 

She had not thought she could run that fast, have a conversation, and still feel ready to go.  And she commented afterwards that maybe she had a marathon at sub-8 pace as part of her destiny still.

On that issue, we will see.

But it does show how much what I used to look to my faster friends (those running a pace like we did yesterday or even faster) for has become something that I can share with others.  A running style that is easy going without worrying about the pace that ends up yielding a faster pace than would have been imagined.  I remember when I first moved to a typical, sub-8 pace while running and chatting. It really surprised me.  But now I take for granted that I can do it.

Does it mean that I always should?  Not necessarily.

Does it mean that it is always the best idea?  Not necessarily.

But is it great to see someone else get a confidence boost--you bet'cha.

Friday during the day was an otherwise nice day (busy as always) with a great performance of the Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare) with characters in 1970's clothing (done by the Chesapeake Shakespeare company in the very creative style) at the close of the day (although after two days of very short sleep I didn't make it all the way through without a little doze.)    

Finally, for the record, I'm at a total of 371.5 miles.  Having passed through Somerset, I'm just a bit east of Lancaster, Ohio on Cincinnati-Zanesville Rd.  Along the way in Somerset, there is a Holy Trinity Catholic Church but it is not right on main street where I would have been running through.  There are, however, Methodist and Lutheran churches right along main street.  

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