As is my normal in the first week of July, I upped the ante on my training in anticipation of the upcoming fall races. More hills. A lot more hills. And more kilometres. 5 more kilometres to be exact — taking me to just over 80 kilometres for the week.
In contrast, in my final week before tapering for the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon in May, I logged just over 72 kilometres.
In other words, I have already been running more than my former peak weekly distances as a matter of rote for the last few weeks. Now I’m going that much further in the hopes of being stronger for the fall.
But I wanted to be conservative with my progress. This week speed was not a factor. Though my times weren’t bad either I’m happy to say. And today to close the week I ran 18 kilometres prior to joining my partner at his Running Room and running another 7 kilometres with him and his group.
Except things didn’t go to plan.
The group splintered.
My partner stayed back to help a new runner. And I ended up helping another newbie.
Newbie to the Running Room that is. But hardly a newbie to running. Why he chose to stay with me I’ll never know. But I can tell you what I do know. I know he can run 10 kilometres in 39 minutes! And he chose to demonstrate that today. After I already logged a little over 90 minutes of running.
Even on fresh legs I’ve never run a sub-40 10k. My current best being a full 2 minutes slower than my newfound running buddy. And that on a downhill course.
His name is Sean. And not only is Sean new to this Running Room. Sean is new to the city. He doesn’t know the area well at all. And I felt responsible for making sure he didn’t get lost out there in the dusty subdivisions of Markham. Why was I responsible? Because the rest of the group was nowhere in sight. Why was the rest of the group nowhere in sight? Because I’m quite certain no one was going to be running sub-5 minute kilometre splits for their long slow run.
But we were. Sean blithely so. Me hanging on for dear life. Who says good deeds don’t go unpunished? I told Sean to feel free to run ahead. But I knew all too well that my conscience couldn’t let him get too far ahead for fear of him never finding his way home. Nor could my pride let me give up on this aggressive pace.
So much for conservative progression in my training!
Sean looked at my water bottle that clung to my wrist. I depend on this thing for training distances over 10 kilometres. Did I mention that I already ran 18 kilometres before starting with Sean? Did Sean care?
Next time you should leave the water bottle. It’s slowing you down.
No Sean that’s not what’s slowing me down. Fatigue is slowing me down. And if karma doesn’t get you Sean, it better reward me and my labouring very handsomely.
Once we were in the final straightaway home I told Sean to stay on this road and he’d find his way back safely enough. And with that he flew. I hung back. Still keeping him in eyesight just in case. And when I saw he made it to the Running Room, I slowed. I ran this final 7 kilometres in 34:25. Much of it with Sean. Last week with the Running Room this same 7 kilometres was covered in a more conservative 39:17.
I made it back. And Sean made it back. And as the saying goes, All’s Well That Ends Well.
But not so fast. And I mean that literally :p
Running Room leaders get a 20% discount for their efforts.
And after today I want that 20% discount too 🙂
Short of that, I’ll settle for putting my feet up and watching Wimbledon.