Yesterday I went on a run with a different running group. They were kicking off the school year as our kids are back in school. My running coach is the assistant coach and one of her friends is the head coach.
First of all, this was the friendliest group of people! They made me feel welcome right away. I loved it! There were about 18-20 of us and I talked to at least half of them. They were really nice!
This group meets MWF after we drop our kids off, so at 8:30 am. The problem right now is that we are still in the midst of this horrible HEAT WAVE! We didn't run until 9, and it was 91 degrees when I finished my 4 miler!
So, this group is FAST!!! Some were telling me they were 'slow', but it is all relative. No one there (at least yesterday) is anywhere near as 'slow' as me...even with my new-found speed!
We took off as a group and they quickly started getting away. I think they were going about a 10:00 pace. Anyway, there was a red light at about 1/3rd mile, and I caught up to them!
But, of course, not for long!
But, this nice lady came back and started chatting with me. My coach popped back, too, and introduced us. She told her I'd done my first 2 triathlons this year. (Oh, and our kids are now going to the same school!) Well, my coach had told me about her...she competed 2 days earlier in the Age Group National Triathlon Championships in Vermont! To qualify, you must come in the top 3 of your age group 3 TIMES that year! Wow!!! Yep! She was there! And, she competed not in the sprint, but in the Olympic distance.
Well, she chatted for a few minutes and the group was pulling away. I told her she could go on...I was fine! But, she said 'no', she needed an easy run after her triathlon on Saturday. I told her, "but, I'm REALLY slow!" And she said that was fine. She'd push me a little, but not too much. And, if I couldn't talk, she'd do all the talking!
We had the most wonderful time! (Though, yes, it was a TOUGH run for me!! We were going faster than I'm used to AND did I mention it was in the upper 80s??? and 90?) I was able to talk, most of the time, though sometimes I could only get a few words out at a time. We both talked about our history as athletes (mine's short!) and our kids and our future goals and events. It was so much FUN!!!
I struggled yesterday with deciding if I should join the group. I think the 'slower' runners run close to 10:00 miles. I'm doing fantastic when I get below 11:30 (I did a 11:07 & a 11:15 yesterday!....then I slowed down!) But, the atmosphere is so terrific and I believe I can get fast enough to run with them by January, can't I? Maybe?
Oh, the coach had a talk with us beforehand and we got orange slices & ice cold water INSIDE a store afterwards! We are sponsored by several organizations and we get matching t-shirts! And, they are all running several of the races I'm running. So, even though I might be doing a lot of the running on my own, I think I'll join them! The friendships alone are worth it. And, it'll be nice to be part of a group when I compete!