Running with Elites – Get Ready to Work it!

This weekend was meant to be an “easy” one in my Disney Dopey Challenge training.  It was supposed to be a laid back 10 miler on Saturday and cross training on Sunday.  Well, the laid back 10 miler turned out to be not so laid back.  That’s because I ran part of it with an elite runner.  Lemme splain.

Who put a cartoon character in charge of a major race?

I can’t wait to get Dopey, fo realz.

I was running by myself.  Enjoying the cool 50 degree temps.  Maybe because of the weather, or because I knew I didn’t have to run back to back days this weekend, but my pace was getting faster and faster as the miles passed.  Working on that negative split, yo!

Then I came to the appropriately named Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.  There I first ran into my buddy The Dancing Runner.  We had an brief chat, wished each other luck, then I went for a loop in the preserve.  It was hilly, but pretty.

Views from the AHNP.

Views from the AHNP.

When I came out, I then ran into my Elite runner buddy – Logan Sherman.  We had a quick chat and determined that we were both heading the same direction after leaving the preserve, and so he said he’d run with me.  I thought, “How in the world is this going to work?!?”

He's fast.

Recently profiled in Competitor Magazine.

This guy runs 5 minute miles when he wants to.  His next goal is running a sub 1:05 half marathon at the USA Half Marathon Championship in Houston this January.  That would qualify him for the Olympic trials.   My last half marathon I ran a little over 8:00 minute miles.  I didn’t want to hurt his workout too much, so I picked up the pace the best I could and we hit the road.

Yes, that's him running with Kenyans.

Yes, that’s him running with Kenyans.

Obviously, he had to slow down his pace a to run with me, and we ended up going around 7:00 minute miles.  That’s normally my 5k pace, not normally the last few miles of a 10 mile training run.  But I’m glad to say I held up alright.

The whole time we ran, we were talking.  It was hard for me to get words out while breathing that hard, but I did manage to make a few complete sentences.  One cool thing is every other runner/walker we passed, he would yell out words of encouragement to them.  He did the same to me.  Saying stuff like, I was looking strong and relaxed.

When it came time for our paths to split off, he gave me some more encouragement – saying he was proud of me and that the pace was easy for me.  I thanked him, wished him luck on the rest of his run, and told him to keep up the good work.  Then he was off in a blur.

Getting some Q&A time in.  Also, when I look at people, I don't see color.

With Logan and Friends after a recent social run.

I’ve run with other elite runners before, but usually as part of a large social group, and at a casual slow pace – not one on one.  So this run was a fun and inspiring experience. It gave me some confidence knowing I can really pick up the pace at the end of a run.

I want to continue to become a better runner, and continue to get faster.  I’ve got some work to do, but hopefully sometime in the future I’ll be able to hang for more than just a couple miles.

What about you?  Have you ever run with a crazy fast person?  How’d did it go?  Would you find it inspiring or intimidating?

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

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26 thoughts on “Running with Elites – Get Ready to Work it!

  1. TartanJogger

    Whoa! That’s amazing! 😀

  2. I’m impressed, Piratebobcat! I think I would have barfed!

  3. Quite impressive my friend. And I’ve told you, Zach’s brother is an elite, just finished 10th in a marathon with a “disappointing” time of 244. Way off his PR. Yup. It’s amazing to get perspective and tips from people like that…although I have to admit I’ve never run more than 3 miles at a time with him…at my pace…downhill.

    • Haha! That’s cool that you have someone like that to get advice from.
      It’s amazing to see what a different level these guys are on in person! Most people I know have a goal to break two hours in a half, and these guys are running almost twice as fast! Crazy!

  4. You are insane for hanging with him! I’ve heard the legend of Logan…no way I could run with that guy! Congrats on not dying!!

  5. That is too cool! Congrats on keeping up with an elite runner! That’s pretty freaking impressive!

    I have never really run with a crazy fast person. I do occasionally jog with Kyle. He never runs but his legs are way longer than mine (his ass comes up to my chest). So I find it incredibly unfair that he keeps up with me without training haha!

  6. I consider my friend Kristina who runs about a 6.5 minute mile “elite”-I’ve run with her a few times. I think I’d get more out of it if I wasn’t constantly feeling like I was holding her back, despite her wonderful assurances that we’re doing great. Way to hang in there-and finish that run strong!

  7. Awesome, sounds like a good challenge. And he sounds like a nice guy 🙂 I’ve never run with an elite runner, but sometimes I run with my boyfriend and he can run a lot faster than me. But I train for longer distances so I have more endurance. It’s motivating for me to keep my speed up though!

  8. I wouldn’t last a mile. I was in awe over the NYC marathon recap on ABC last night. Elite running is truly a gift.

  9. PaulSmuts

    He looks more relaxed than the Kenyans! Respect to him for motivating all the other runners. Glad you had a good run, even though it was more exhausting than planned! 🙂

    • Yeah man, can you believe he’s running at that pace and with a smile?!?
      Thank you, even though it wasn’t planned, I’m really glad it happened.

  10. So cool!!! Of course you could hang with him your not giving yourself enough credit. I’ve never run with any elite but if I had the opportunity I don’t know what I’d say! The fact that you could carry a conversation is awesome. What a great weekend you had!

    • Thank you! He messaged me afterwards and said the same thing about being able to talk along the way. He said that meant it was an easy pace for me. Very inspiring!

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