I usually run at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesdays. However, today I was scheduled to do 8 marathon pace miles. And the running group was meeting at 5:15 to do some faster stuff. They are not quite up to 8 miles, but were going to be running a pace similar to mine. I chose to sleep in and run with them in the evening. The only downside was that it was HOT at 5:15.
Tim came, too. As did Rowan...in his stroller. The whole group was not on board with the idea of running around a 7:00 minute pace. They also wanted to warm up. I didn't really need a warm-up, nor did Bill. So we (along with Tim and Rowan) set out to do 8 miles at a 7:10 pace. Bill didn't know how many he'd do, but he was going to hang with us as long as he could.
I started out WAY too fast, as I always do with pace runs. Bill reeled me in. And the first mile was 6:58. Too fast. Better slow down. Second mile? 6:56. After that one, I intentionally hung back. Bill was ahead of me, and Tim was too. But I knew that it would be suicide to continue that pace in that heat...for 8 miles and on very tired legs. I was going by my Garmin, but it's notorious for saying you're going more slowly than you really are.
Bill has wheeled this course, and so he knows all the mile markers. At the 3 mile mark, my watch said my pace was 7:02. But it was actually 6:49. Mile 4 was pretty much the same. Too, too fast. I don't know why I (we) do this. Bill dropped off at this point, and Tim and I pressed on. Tim was in front of me, and it made me want to push to catch him. It resulted in a 6:40 5th mile. This had to stop. I was feeling good, but I knew the last couple of miles would be hard.
We also managed to make a wrong turn. We were running a course with which we weren't totally familiar (we know the roads, but not which ones we were to turn on). Bill tried to yell at us, but we didn't hear him. The wrong turn put us in a very hilly area that was, ultimately, a dead end. We hit the 6th mile at 7:06 (by my Garmin...so it was probably faster).
We headed back toward Washington, and it was at that point that I realized a bad storm was on the horizon. Now our minds changed from trying to hold pace to trying to get home. Rowan was our main concern. So we pressed on. We hit the 7th mile at 7:04.
That's when the storm came. The wind picked up, and then it gusted, throwing rocks and dust at us. The sky was very dark, and we were a mile from home. I was running as hard as I could, but against the wind I couldn't do much. By this time, my legs were shot. I told Tim to run ahead of me to get Rowan home. I also figured that Bill or someone would come looking for us.
At that point, the wind became even stronger. Tim was holding onto the stroller with all his strength because he feared it would be blown over. I yelled to him to put the plastic shield over the stroller. It was tucked in the bottom of the stroller. As the wind blew around us and the rain started to come down, we got the plastic cover over the stroller. Tim took off as fast as he could.
And then we saw Bill. And Rand right behind him. I knew he or someone would be coming to get us. I got Rowan in the car, and they took the stroller apart (it doesn't fold well) and put half of it in Bill's car and another part of it in Rand's. Bill drove us home, and Rand followed. The storm was very bad at this point, and I am extremely thankful for Bill and Rand's help. We run with great people!
So, in all, I got 7.58 pace miles in. I was supposed to do a total of 12 with 8 at pace. After the storm died down, I told Tim I was going out to do my remaining miles. He told me not to do the remaining .42 at pace. He knew I was considering it. But with how fast we'd gone, I actually agreed with him.
So I went out for a little over 3 miles. My legs felt AWFUL. My right quad was tightening up the whole time, and my piriformis (which I've been dealing with for a while now) was bothering me. None of things popped up during the pace run...only after. Anyway, the 3 miles were quite dreadful. But I got them in...a total of 12 today. I'm going to try to get into my fabulous PT, Penny, in the next couple of days. She can fix anything.
No running tomorrow...but a double (14 and 4) on Thursday. It's a stepback week, so I reserve the right to cancel that second run if my right leg is still bothering me. Also...no 20 this week, just a 17.