“And with that, Adam, you’ve now made my blog.” I tell the kid that has passed me now twice, but on the second pass, I make sure to keep up!
This kid has caught me on a day when I’m feeling spunky and confident…..only the running Gods know why, because merely the day before I considered never running again. And so goes the life of a runner!
I knew I wanted a weekend where I got my running in, but really wanted more ‘funnin’. My dear friends Matt and Jessica were in town and a running buddy, Sean, was performing in a local outdoor play. The temperature was perfect picnic weather and since I’ve been traveling I’ve missed seeing my Michigan friends. So, I did what i really do best, I sent out some texts and was recruiting a ‘cheer station of fans ‘ for front and center stage for Sean’s play. We were armed with friendship, smiles, blankets, drinks, and nummy food for the performance that evening and had a better than great experience.
……So, in order to make the most from my Saturday minutes I sprung out of bed (not really, but that’s what I’m telling myself) and thought I’d see where my Tulley Toes would take me. I loaded up a few things and made the short drive to Kensington Metro park. I took the last spot in the East Boat Launch parking lot, tied my key to my shoe, and took off. I was hoping for a little spring in my step after such a weighted down long run the day before, and as I looked down at my time I was pleasantly surprised. My bum wasn’t doing too badly, the legs weren’t too heavy, and the clock numbers weren’t too scary.
Even on a good day, the first three miles are work, and I did the work. After that I settled in to the groove of the run and was having some fun. It was at about 3 1/2miles of the 9 mile loop that I was silently glided past by a strong looking ‘boy’ runner. I haven’t been able to do too much ‘fast boy’ chasin’ but today I was feeling cheeky. I knew I couldn’t ‘keep up’ but I was surely going to ‘keep him in my sights.’ I picked it up a bit and kept an eye on him. At the Turtlehead road route he turned off and I wondered if he was stretching his mileage out, until I saw him take a cup and begin pouring water from a local running club’s water stop. It’s a group I’m familiar with but have never paid to play with…..clearly now was my chance!
I caught up and as I was now passing him he called out my “nice pace.” I replied that I was trying to give myself a chance to stay ahead of him and not get passed again. I didn’t really think I could out run him, but it was fun banter. He called out, “Challenge accepted!” I knew I only had a little bit of front time, so I found another gear to give myself as much distance as possible. I figured his water break wasn’t going to last all day.
I was right, it didn’t take him too long to once again silently come up on me, but instead of going around he struck up a conversation. Now, I love collecting strangers and hearing their story, but I didn’t want to hold him back. He didn’t seem to mind my pace, so I kept working hard, and enjoyed him ‘naively’ pushing me the rest of the run.
We had a fun talk, and I enjoyed the enthusiasm this ‘new to distant running’ guy had. He sang the praises of his coach Doug Goodhue, his Running Fit 501 club, and his PT guy who was helping him come back from a slight injury. It felt good to be going fast again and for a time, I didn’t even remember that my a$$ hurt! We trucked it in to the final bit of the run and then we all enjoyed some post run chatter as he met back up with his coach. I’ve met Doug a number of times, but its always a pleasure to stand in the presence of greatness in the sport I love. He shared some stories and spoke about some of his upcoming racing goals which were inspiring to hear.
I looked down to see the actual time it was in the day, when what I actually saw was a CrAzY fast time as a split! I smiled, excused myself to get home to play with my daughter, and with a skip in my step, bounded off to keep on keepin’ this GrEaT day on!
Groovy Girls Go………And Keep Up