I did my tuneup for tomorrow evening's W&OD Trail 5K by running 4 miles this morning on the race course, which happens to go right by my back yard. I ran slowly, a maintenance run.
Slowly as in 43:45 for four miles (10:58), and I passed the 5K mark at 33:05. Yeesh.
I wasn't feelin' it today, but I finished the run. A lady passed me by and I caught up to her and chatted with her for a bit. Irina, she runs 3 miles two days a week every week (she had a German accent so I imagined she never misses a scheduled run) and because I could maintain her pace she was impressed with the fact a) I was doing four miles & b) I had only been running since January.
Irina was a steady runner but she actually wasn't that fast. But she pulled me along for a mile and then I let her go and turned around to come back, grateful to revert to a slow shuffle.
I love talking to unknown runners that I fall in with. Many are friendly and if they aren't, I pull away or drop back. Runners with headphones on I never bother with. I ignore them because I think it's a) selfish & b) dumb to run with headphones. Why not just pound out the mileage on a dreadmill for all the good being out in the open air does for these runners, enclosed in their own little cocoon of sound. These runners always display their annoyance if you try to talk with them by making a big show of yanking out their headphones to see what you want.
My walk-to-run training program spent all of January getting our walking up to 4 miles at our Saturday sessions but currently we're on a 3-minutes-running 2-minutes-walking gig. I don't tell them that I run the four miles the other three times I run each week, albeit at a slow pace.
I guess you could say that I have actually been back to running for about six weeks since my year-and-a-half layoff due to an injury which is still bothering me. I don't have any expectations for the 5K race tomorrow. It's late in the afternoon and I hate waiting around all day to run a race. I can leave my house and jog to the start line in six minutes though.