Do you ever intend to run one pace on a training run and ultimately end up throwing that idea out the window? It sucks when it happens because something isn't right (insert random ache/pain/injury here) but sometimes, like it did for me tonight it goes the opposite way and it's pretty awesome! My hip has been off and on a nuisance lately so when I set up the roll call for tonight's group run I was apprehensive about picking a pace. My hip had been bothering me at work this morning and I wasn't sure how it would react to the planned 8 miles. I left the pace open and figured someone would speak up and sure enough my friend Andrew said he planned on 7-7:15..... If the ole hip would allow I figured that pace would be good so I agreed with the side note that I needed permission from my hip.
About half way through the day when the punk hip was being particularly annoying I decided to try and stretch it out a bit. I grabbed the knee on the same leg and pulled it slightly up and over in front of my other leg. After a couple quick "pops" (slightly unnerving) I let go and noticed that throughout my range of motion it felt pretty good! Almost night and day! This gave me hope that tonight's run might go well!
Half way between home and our running location I realized that for the second time in recent memory I had forgotten the Garmin at home! Bugger! Last time I went back and got it because I wasn't sure who was going to be there and if they would have one to track us. On this occasion though I didn't have the same luxury of time. I also knew that at least one person showing up tonight would have a watch.
We started out the 8 mile figure 8 loop two abreast, four deep, headlamps in full effect casting shadows all around us and chatting away. I haven't looked at our pace but guessing by effort we were right around 7 flat for the first mile. Did I mention that I was in the front row of this train of runners? I was talking away with my friend Nick who is a much faster runner than I am usually but is still coming back from an injury so he's more my speed right now. Nick's shoe came untied a couple miles in so he dropped off and said he'd catch up. This was the first I really realized that we were moving along at a good clip! Jeff slid up next to me for the next mile or so before dropping back and Joe stepped up in his place. I mentioned earlier that we were chatting away well that had pretty much ceased, and remember those headlamps casting shadows all around us? Well I soon realized that our shadows were no longer being cast in front of us from the lights behind. I figured out why when I looked back as we rounded the next turn and saw no one. There was no one behind us anymore it was just Joe and I! Apparently the other 6 had more sense than us and said to hell with that ridiculous pace! I made a comment to Joe that we had lost our companions and asked him how fast we were going. He had remembered his watch. So responsible that Joe is! He informed me that we were cookin along at or around 6:40!!!! Whoops! Though I could tell we were streaking along I still felt strong and the hip wasn't saying shit otherwise so I figured I'd keep it up as long as I could. Besides no one wants to be the dick that sets a blistering pace and can't keep it to the end. That's just not cool.
We finished up our 8 miles without a problem other than a couple of quick side stitches when I smelled fresh fries being cooked at Wendy's as we ran past and a couple of other restaurant smells that made me want nourishment! We waited for the others to get back and took our licks for completely disregarding the agreed upon speed limit haha. All in all it was a great run and just what I needed! When I got home and checked my email I found that I most likely will be a pacer for a decent size race near here this spring! That was the cherry on top of an already great night. After it's official I'll let you know when and where and who knows you might even end up running a race this spring with yours truly and I promise this time I'll stick to the agreed upon pace!
Hope everyone else had a good start to their week!