We are 13 long, but not-so-long weeks away from the Eugene Marathon.
As of last week, I have been doing my Saturday long runs with my friend, Shannon, who I convinced to join in on the fun.
Shannon is the younger sister of my friend Mo, who is a super-fast runner. She qualified for Boston Marathon at Eugene Marathon two years ago but unfortunately was not able to gain an entry into Boston even with a BQ time! Naturally, hungry for another BQ, I convinced her to do Eugene with me.
And, not to worry, we will not be racing Eugene together. While her goal time will be that sub-3:35 (I think?) my goal is sub-4 hours. But, even though we will not be racing together, it doesn’t mean we can’t train together. My secret plan is that if I do my long runs with her, I will become a faster and stronger runner myself. I don’t know why, but I just can’t push myself to run fast when I am out by myself.
Our 7-miler Saturday turned into an overall 9-minute pace run. But, to our credit, the last mile-and-a-half or so was all up hill. We started out in the neighborhood of 8:30 splits at the beginning of the run! (If I were running by myself, 9:00 splits would be the faster end of the norm).
Shannon and I chatted during the entire run so it’s not like I am silently suffering at a faster pace. Surprisingly, no suffering occurred at all. I was uncomfortable going up the last hill, but I think I may be able to keep up with this kid for these training runs. (And, yes, I do know that she slows down a lot for me, but she says she doesn’t do her long runs “fast,” anyway).
We’re 13 weeks away and I’m feeling great.
Next weekend’s long run will be interesting and unconventional (for me). Let’s just say it’ll be split into two parts. If you pay attention to my race schedule, I’m sure you can take an educated guess!
Happy running / training / lazy Sunday!