Today was the Central Maine Striders’ weekly “nooner” run that starts over at the Alfond Youth Center in Waterville.
Greg, Barry and Patrick showed up (yes I was there taking the picture) ready to run. Patrick had meeting at 1:00 so we had to hustle up and decided to do only 4 or so.
Unfortunately, I am the old, slow guy of this bunch – you know that anchor that drags everyone back. All I know is that this was the fastest run I have done outside since the Rise ‘n Shine 5K back in September. The “young” guns (they are all younger than I am, even though Greg isn’t that far away at less than a decade back), pushed this old fart pretty damn hard.
We started out the first mile sub 8:00 and then slowed slightly going up County Road and a little more over on Marston, then cranked it going down Mayflower, back to AYC. I did a lot better than I thought I would at this speed, which really is not all that faster than I have run on the treadmill in the low 8:00’s lately.
Still it surprised me that I wasn’t more of an anchor through the first couple of miles and pretty much kept up until we hit the hill over on Marston.
Then Barry and Greg opened up a 50 yard gap, but Patrick was kind and stayed back and gabbed with me, when I could breath again ;-).
I do not know why, but the hills have really been getting me lately? My perceived effort is not changing all that much, but the time sure as hell is. I am definitely getting slower for the same effort going up hills, which is either a sign I have to do more hill work, or worse that aging thing is biting me square in the ass and making me work that much harder just to keep pace.
All I know is that it totally sucks, but it is the way things are going to be as long as I am a runner – I will continue to have to work harder, to keep up my current pace, as I get older.
Once we got through the up hill part, I did pretty good even running down Mayflower Hill fairly good and Patrick and I picked up pretty good heading back into AYC and finished with Barry and Greg (I don’t think they sped up too much and let us catch them. so we would finish all together).
Overall, it was a very good run and being able to run with others who are a LOT better than I am, pushes me to do more/better than I would by myself. It might not have really been part of my base mileage plan to run in the 6:40’s for the last part of the run, but hey, I needed to blow the rust out a little and being around other runners, especially during the last part of a run, always seems to bring out that competitiveness in me over the last part of a run.
A Little More
After the run was over and we stretched for few minutes, we started to leave and Barry stated it was such a beautiful day, that it was a shame to waste it and that he was tempted to go out for a “little more”. My plan called for me to run between 50-60 minutes today, so I thought, “why not” and after a quick drink/bathroom break, we went back out.
No, thank goodness the pace was a lot more reasonable and Barry and I gabbed the whole way. Even so I still slowed down a lot going up the long, but not too steep hill before First Rangeway, it felt like I had on a parachute drag going up that little hill. Once I got to the top of that little hill, I was fine.
Barry was barely breathing hard and yes I was jealous.
Coming down Mayflower Hill back to AYC was just at a nice easy pace, except for the downhill, where it was a tad quicker.
The second run wasn’t as fast as the first one, but it was still a nice quality run and I can get myself back into being able to run hills again without crapping out, I will be very happy.
The group run in my mind was very successful and as we get more runners, hopefully there will a few runners who are a bit slower than those three, who I can keep up with a little easier or to be more real, just keep up with. If you are interested in running with us show up next Wednesday @ 12:00 PM at the Alfond Youth Center in Waterville. All speeds are welcome!
Maybe by then I will have my lungs back 😉