When my two sisters and I were growing up, we shared a few special days each year with the three sons of my parents' good friends. We sort of overlap in age with me being the oldest of the six of us. Every year we had a pool party in the summer and shared a special meal around Valentines Day. We watched each other grow up and, now that we're all in some stage or another of adulthood, it's pretty neat to get together.
The middle son is home for the summer and the youngest son happens to be home for a week so they asked me if they could come running with me tonight. Nothing too hard they said. We haven't been running in a while they said. Just 5k ok? We'll try to keep up they said.
Oh my good god.
I joked with a co-worker before leaving to meet them: "if you see an older lady chasing two young boys down the parkway around 5pm, that would be me."
I am trying to get faster - I really really am. I can now confidently run up to 10k while keeping a brisk pace of between 6:15 and 6:30. No matter how tired I get, I no longer allow myself to run more than 7:00. While I may not qualify for Boston, for me - that's pretty freaking amazing.
Keep in mind that I can sustain this pace if everyone leaves me alone, no one tries to chat with me and I have my music keeping me moving.
Tonight I ran 5k with two boys who, while claiming to be completely out of shape, started off at a pace of 5:30. They then immediately started chatting away. "How was Boston?" "What are your plans for the summer?" "What was your last race?"
A few minutes in, I was feeling decidedly unfit and trying to find a polite way to tell them that there is no way I can run with them all summer if this is their 'out of shape' pace. That was about the time that the youngest asked if we minded if he ran ahead. He proceeded to bound off down the road like a gazelle - leaving the two of us looking like we were out for a casual stroll.
It's hard to be too bothered - I love those guys. They are young, extremely intelligent and super-eager to share all the cool things they are learning and doing in school. We never run out of things to talk about. The thought of running with at least one of them during the summer makes me want to push hard to keep up. So, while the younger speed demon runner is leaving this weekend, I have committed to trying to run my 30-40 minute Wednesday runs with his older brother. These runs are supposed to be recovery runs. You know - nice and slow. They will most likely be anything but. But during these speed training sessions I will have fabulous discussions about theology, ecology, Magic the Gathering, proper running form and world travel.
Can't really complain about that.