What is it about a long run that brings people together? It amazes me how I can show up to a running club, lock into pace with some folks, and an hour later it is like we have known each other all our lives. What we do for a living, how big our house is or what neighborhood we live in, even how old we are -- all these things cease to matter. We are all just runners.
I showed up to DC Road Runners this morning (with 15 minutes to spare... no parking fiascos this time!) and found three women who wanted to run a 9:00 - 9:30 pace for 22 miles. We started chatting and before I even realized it we were halfway done. Had we met any other way, I am pretty sure we never would have gotten past hello. We were 65, 45, and 33 (yes, one woman was almost exactly my age.) We were African American, Latino, and Caucasian. We were a surgeon, a stay at home mother, a lawyer and a music teacher.
At the 19th mile we decided to split up so we could focus and hit race pace for the last three miles. I really started booking it, doing the last three under an 8 minute pace, and pulled out a 7:36 for the final mile. I have no idea where that energy came from. Run stats here: http://nikerunning.nike.com/nikeos/p/nikeplus/en_US/mapping/#/runs/2033412981?sitesrc=PLiAPP_fbk_map
I'm not sure what pace I should aim for at the marathon. I'm not going to try to Boston Qualify because I need a 3:34:59 and I still think that's out of reach. I definitely want to try to break four hours. I think I will start with the 3:50 pacer and see how I'm feeling around 18-19. If I can just hold onto today's energy...
And if I bonk, I bonk.
I rushed home to have a shower and get my family to a 3pm wedding of a good friend I met five summers ago. And how did we meet? Training for the Marine Corps Marathon, of course.