On Tuesday, I ran with Krissi. Now, I really should have known better. I'm the dill who told Krissi that I ran faster with Fontessa on Thursday than I did with Krissi the previous Tuesday. Only 7 seconds per minute faster, but it was definitely faster.
Who in their right mind tells their personal trainer that they can run faster? Who in their right mind inadvertently implies to their personal trainer that said PT could perhaps be pushing them a little harder? Who in their right mind would make such a blunder?
Nobody, that's who. Which means that I must not have been in my right mind when I mentioned in passing in an email to Krissi how pleased I was with my faster pace on Thursday.
On Tuesday we headed out for a run. I kept up fine for the warm up. I kept up fine for the first few km's. I started to develop a sneaking suspicion that we might be going a bit quickly when I glanced at my Garmin to see how long we'd been running and Krissi told me not to worry about the pace. I hadn't even thought about the pace at that stage. Krissi then told me that she was determined that we were going to break the 8 mins/km barrier. She didn't care by how much but we were going under. I thought, I only have to find 4 seconds per km to achieve that. I can do that.
I worked hard not to ease down too much, especially on the hills. I wasn't sure that I'd last the whole way. Fortunately, when we got to the big long hill on the way up to the top of the dam, Krissi pointed out that it was all down hill back to her place. If I'd had any breath I probably would have pointed out that there were still some hills on the way back, but as (a) the big long hill was definitely the worst of the remaining ones and (b) I was incapable of talking and puffing at the same time, I just gritted my teeth and kept on running. It did give me some heart though, which was much needed at that stage.
When we got back to Krissi's we'd run 7.75 km in an hour. My Garmin had our pace at 7:47 mins/km while Krissi's said 7:51 and slightly less distance. I'm sticking with mine as it sounds so much better.
The real bonus was that I had the runner's high well into the afternoon. :-)
This morning was a different story. It was much colder. I got to the lake 20 mins earlier than Lola and Fontessa, because of dropping Graham's son at work at stupid o'clock. Fortunately, I'd thought it through and decided that the smart thing to do would be to run the lake clockwise, meeting them coming in the other direction.
It seemed like a good idea until I got started. Actually, the first km wasn't too bad. I ran it at 7:42 mins/km then eased up, mainly because I got down to the lakeside where the wind was freezing. My legs felt like they were twice as heavy as usual, I was cold and I was miserable. I got slower and slower, thinking "why didn't sitting in the car waiting for 20 mins sound like a good idea yesterday?" At one stage I was feeling so bad that I dropped to a walk - the first time in ages. I only allowed myself a maximum of a minute walking, then shuffled off again.
I was doing the maths in my head - I thought I'd meet the others after about 30 mins. I was determined to be across the bridge and on the other side of the lake by then. I was hoping to have run at least 4 km by the time I met them. From somewhere I managed to rustle up some momentum. The breeze wasn't so bad crossing the bridge and then I had it behind me. I jogged along, hoping to see the girls at every turn. Finally I recognised them running towards me. They looked fantastic. I glanced at my Garmin and I was past the 4 km mark. Even better.
I turned around and headed back with them. They'd been struggling with the cold too, but they were running at a faster pace than me. I tried to keep up, then finally accepted that I was going to be behind them. I ran along, back into the breeze again, half hoping that the traffic would hold them up when we crossed the road and half hoping that they would go off and leave me to my misery.
Fortunately, the traffic held them up. Catching them up gave me a new lease of life and I managed to run along with them the rest of the way. Fontessa likes to run in front, so I tucked in beside Lola. We weren't chatting much, until we made it over the bridge and back to the flat. The breeze seemed to die. We all felt warmer and I started to enjoy the run.
Funnily enough, the day before I'd been talking to a workmate about how the bad runs made you appreciate the good runs even more and there I was, having a bad run the very next day. When I was struggling at the start of the run I took comfort in remembering the conversation, knowing that my run was something I'd be pleased about later, even if I was suffering now.
When we finished we compared times and distances. The girls had done a great job, running 6 km at approx 7:45 mins/km. Their extra pace meant that I ended up running 8.33 km at approx 8:00 mins/km. A good result for everyone.
I didn't have quite the runner's high of Tuesday but I did have a feel good buzz all day. You've got to love that.
Complete aside: Andrew, you asked about the Urban Polaris. It's a bike ride around Canberra in December. You ride around in pairs with a map for 7 hours, collecting points. It sounds like a fun way to learn a few new things about Canberra.