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.
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.
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?!?”
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.
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.
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?