It was a pretty good day for a run, actually. A bit on the warm side -- roughly 23 degrees Celcius -- but there was a bit of a breeze from the west that helped to keep things cooler.
Brian was to run past our driveway at 7:20 am (he was scheduled for a 16 miler) but when I looked for him at the assigned time, there were two heads bobbing in the distance, not one. Jed DeJong, who is also training to hit a Boston Qualifier time in Corning, was running with Brian. So the three of us headed off towards Lucan, which is about 4.5 miles from my home.
Jed's target rate was anywhere from 8:30 to 9:00 per mile. Mine was 9:02 per mile and Brian's was 8:15 per mile. So we had already decided that 8:30 per mile was a good compromise and that Brian would head off with five miles to go to get in some faster miles in.
The idea was to meet another member of our running group, Kelly Vivian, in Lucan, and do some running on the rural roads surrounding the town, and then she could finish up by running back into town while we headed off in the direction of my house. But she also had an additional passenger -- Jody Durand, who has been steadily improving his distances and times and is now rumoured to be looking at doing a half marathon in the fall. Kelly is non-committal at this point on her marathon or half-marathon intentions. My guess is, though, that there is a 'half' in her future this fall -- perhaps two.
Kelly and Jody headed out a bit earlier from the assigned meeting spot and the plan was that, at our assigned pace, we'd catch up with them. But they ran very well and it wasn't until the last leg of our run with them that we actually caught up. During that final 'sprint' to catch them, I did about 5 minutes of 7:30/mi pace -- and felt good that I could actually do so after 8 miles. I'd been getting concerned that I'd be teaching my body to run at a slow pace -- but it certainly appears that I can kick it into gear if I need to.
I did the same thing during the last three-quarters of a mile. Brian was well ahead of me, and Jed had taken a detour to get to Brian's house, so I was running alone. I kicked up the pace to about a 7:30/mile pace again -- sometimes even a bit faster -- and was able to do so no problem.
Overall, I did roughly 8:36 per mile. Faster than my charted target, but still acceptably 'slow'.
When I got back home, I headed straight for the tub to do my latest ritual after a long run. Yes, the dreaded ice bath. I never would have believed it would make a difference, but even just hosing my legs with cold water after a short run helped relieve stiffness, so on a long run, now, I have a bag our two of ice waiting in the freezer to add to the cold water into which I immerse the lower half of my body.
After a couple of beers at Brian's place and then a couple of hours of sleep, I went out for some "cross training" -- polo. And while I could feel my muscles were a bit sore, I certainly wasn't stiff. Even getting on and off the horse was no challenge.
So, thus ends Week 1. Pretty low stress, thus far. Makes me think that pain may be lurking in the future weeks for me. Stay tuned... :-)