I have been running with L two or three times a week at noon on the Mall since I returned to running in January. I used to be faster than her but I got slower, she got faster, she's smart and interesting to talk to and presto, running buddy.
I was coming back from injury and she was coming back from surgery and oh, we were pathetic back then. Three miles would leave us running ragged and sometimes walking, and we ran eleven minute miles, but by August we were up to five miles and down to ten minute miles.
Then in September we threw in running up Capitol Hill at the end to make it 5.5 miles and we got our pace down to 9:20s and we became full of ourselves. What is it that goeth before the fall?
It was L who invited R to run with us at noon. She came along today and to encourage her to continue, we cut our run down to 4 1/2 miles to see how she'd do.
Something was wrong from the outset of the run. R had lied to us and she didn't run "nine minute miles at best," oh no, we were running sub-nines from the start and trailing her.
I used to be able to do that, and L apparently can do that now, but my breathing was ragged and so was L's conversation and we were definitely out of our comfort zone. The beauty of running on the Mall however is that incessant traffic forces you to stop at the cross streets so you can catch a blow.
R did slow down in the latter half of the run. We also ran up Capitol Hill at the end, although I was DFL in that third of a mile uphill stretch.
Our pace for the 4.57 miles was 8:42.5. R is good for L and I, right?