There are a group of (mostly) women who get together every Thursday to run five miles at 5 a.m. They gather one town over from me, so it’s not too far. At 4:45 in the morning it takes me about ten minutes to get to the meeting spot. I love two of the “regulars” dearly so if I could, I would be there every Thursday for the opportunity to run with them.
I can’t however.
I work from 7 – 4. It’s nearly impossible for me to drive 10 minutes, run five miles, drive 10 more minutes and still get to work in downtown Portland properly dressed and smelling clean by 7 a.m. If I factor in the fact that my almost 14-year-old needs to get up and hasn’t yet trained his body to hear an alarm (selective hearing at its finest), it’s impossible.
Sometimes, however, when the stars are properly aligned, which is to say my superwoman boss is out-of-town, out of the office, in back to back meetings all day, or is otherwise occupied to such an extent I can guarantee she will not need me before 8:30 for ANYTHING, I can be late to work and go to 5 at 5.
That was today.
There were six of us running and two of them are really speedy (comparatively speaking, of course). The last time I did 5 at 5 the two speedy ones left me and my group of 3 in the proverbial dust. Today we pretty much all ran together.
Initially I think this was likely a combination of me and my group running a little faster and the speedy chicks running a little slower. It was a comfortable pace and I was so happy to be out there. Since the 30k my running motivation has been way low (I have run though). I’ve done other stuff, (lifting weights, kickboxing, step aerobics), but none of that other stuff makes me happy like running does. Those are the things I do out of obligation to my (progressively getting older) body.
Anyway, the 5 at 5 route is a pretty straight forward out and back. Except its a busy street, even at 5 a.m. There are at least two intersections where we are always forced to stop and wait for the cars. When we were headed back I was running next to one of my fave running peeps, Maureen. We were kind of/sort of chatting. The two fast chicks were slightly in front of us and then the other two, which included my other fave running peep, Megan, were bringing up the rear. They were close enough I could hear their conversation.
Something happened though. One of the fast chicks sped up a little and the other started to drop back. It was odd when I realized I was passing one of the fast chicks! But I was, and so was Maureen (although Maureen has been looking incredibly strong in her run as of late so I don’t doubt she has it in her). I could tell I was pushing beyond my normal comfort level, but I kept thinking, we can’t be going that fast because I’m not struggling THAT hard.
My Garmin later told me that all five miles were under 10:30, but that last mile? That last mile we ran at a pace of 9:10! Amazing! It’s amazing because I didn’t feel like I was going to die. I just felt like I was pushing a little harder.
What did I learn?
I am way too soft on myself.
Let’s see if I can capitalize on that newly learned information, shall we?
Stay tuned. . . .