What a fun group showed up tonight to run another late night run under the stars! It was even more fun this week than last week! I think we had 17 runners out there tonight. We were quite a sight, our headlamp lights bobbing and weaving through the darkness. At mile 3, we even attracted the attention of two local policeman on bikes who approached us to see what sorts of suspicious activities we were up to. 🙂 We had a great chat with them and heeded the warning they gave us to avoid some woman’s property who liked to chase runners down with a shotgun or her car if they came near. We weren’t in the mood for that type of speedwork tonight, so we took their advice and traveled on.
Again this week, early on, I found myself just a hair back from the “boy’s club.” Seth, Mike, Tony, Mark, Frank and Jon were flying along ahead of me and made for a great pace team. Their glow in the dark vests and packs made it easy to keep them in sight and I settled into a nice, tempo pace. It wasn’t long before my friend, Otto caught up to me, too. It was a fun group – lots of kidding around and chatter to keep the miles going by smoothly and quickly.
Not long after 3 miles, Otto and I found ourselves holding on for dear life to the “fast boys.” Apparently they were just warming up earlier and soon we found ourselves huffing and puffing just trying to stay afloat. They lost us easily, but we kept pushing on – both of us determined to make a good run of it tonight. Our buddy Jon, eventually came back to harass us, kicking us both in the rear (literally) before running off ahead again. We both made sprints after him, but, as expected, Jon was too quick! The goof came back later to steal my water bottle and make me run after him to get it back, too. I never had a brother growing up, but I swear since I started running, I have a whole gang of fun brother-types. 🙂 They harass and tease, but it’s all in good fun and makes me glad to be part of the gang.
Somewhere around mile 7 or so, I remember the pace was starting to really increase. Otto and I were trying to hold on again to the “fast boys.” It wasn’t pretty. Otto was wheezing and I was grunting, but neither of us relented. I kept thinking, “He’ll fade first and then I can save face when I fade back to be nice.” but he kept pushing on. “Dang it!,” I thought. Finally, my watch beeped at exactly 7 miles and we both pulled back a hair, huffing and puffing. “You’re stubborn!” Otto said. I laughed and said, “So are you!” It cracked me up. It’s always nice to have a friend who runs a really similar pace to push you out there and I think we served that purpose for each other tonight. The “fast boys gang” of course pushed us even harder and I would like to thank them for that!
About mile 8, we were back on the main road, heading over the overpass, running through a bit of construction. Jon, the goofball, picked up one of the orange cones and put it on his head, dancing about as he ran, hamming it up! We all laughed! We were having way too much fun after midnight on a weeknight!
Finally, we were back at the starting spot, the fast boys already cooled down and waiting in the parking lot. We waited around for the rest of the gang to finish up and I got to chat with more of the girls. It turned out there was a Mom of a 4 month old there and another Mom with a 6 month old, a cool friend I’d ran with one other time who has experiences with relays and of course my awesome friend and neighbor, Amy, who was there with her way cool 14 year old son, Dante and his buddy, Jake! I also got to see my sweet friend, Angie, who I hadn’t ran with in awhile! I was so proud of all of them for coming out late and putting in the miles! It was a fantastic group!!! We chatted in the parking lot, I hugged everyone goodbye and then I headed home with Amy’s son and his friend since Amy was still eager for some more miles and was running home. I had originally hoped to do the same, but didn’t know our “escort” buddy, Jon was going to be there, I’d already told my husband I would come right back sooner. I had a great chat with the two very polite, great kids on the way home! Such nice boys!!!!
I feel pretty jazzed about how the run went tonight. I had hoped I could make it kind of a marathon-goal-paced run — the last speedy one I could squeeze in before my 50 miler next Saturday. My “goal pace” for my fall marathon is 9:09 or better. Tonight’s run was 8:44 average!!! Yeah, baby!!!!! I think I’ll keep pushing just a bit out there and chase after the boys more often! It really did help! 🙂
Stats: 9.38 miles. 8:44 pace. 1:22 total time. 178 average heart rate. 188 feet elevation gain (just a couple of hills.) Felt: AWESOME!