It’s nice to have a running buddy, right? I’ve been training since May by myself for every single run. I don’t remember what it’s like to run with somebody and quite frankly, I kind of like it by myself. I run at my pace, I don’t worry about slowing anybody down, or somebody not keeping up with me. I don’t have to carry on a conversation or feel obligated to do anything that I simply don’t want to.
That’s why it’s funny how my first two runs after my half marathon have been with a running buddy: my boyfriend.
I invited him along on Monday for my first run after my half marathon, which was supposed to be an easy three mile run. My eyes were set on something along the lines of 10:00 minute miles, not being bothered by the fact that I didn’t eat properly that day, nor did I drink enough water. The key words were easy and run. Did that happen? Of course not, Sean likes to run a little bit faster than I was keen on.
I ran 2.5 miles, which involved a little bit of walking. The first mile averaged under 8:30, faster than my tempo runs, a little slower than my speed work miles. Not exactly the way I planned to ease back into running, but what are you going to do? I may be able to outlast my boyfriend, but I certainly don’t think I can outrun him.
After a quick Tuesday rest day, which ended up being much needed due to some random ankle pain, we went back at it today.
I warned him that this was going to be a tough run for me (6 miles – 3×1600 @ 8:16 with 800m jogs) and he could do his own thing since 6 miles is a lot on its own, let alone as speed work, but he stuck with me.
We started with an easy warm-up mile, but this time I actually stuck to my guns (mostly) at 9:25. After a quick stretch, we took off for the first speedy mile and I definitely went out too fast. The first quarter mile was steadily up hill but I felt good (thank you Gu!) and took off, leaving my boyfriend behind me. I regretted it as soon as the ending of that mile sounded off – 7:30 minute mile, with my downhill averaging 6:30. Not the amount of energy I wanted to spend on mile one!
After that, I opted to continue my 800m jog first, but run 800m at 8:16 pace, instead of 1600m. It didn’t work. I still finished that 800m in under 8:00 minute pace, which was at the top of the hill (again). I had to walk after, or else I’d be vomiting more than my share of pizza.
My third speed section, another 800m, was still under 8:00 minute pace. After that first ridiculous mile though, my boyfriend continued running with me and didn’t stop. Surprisingly to me, he kept up and he even pushed me by just being there. I’m convinced that without his presence I would not have run 5 miles, nor would I have continued with my speed work. Who would have thought a running buddy could be motivation for somebody like me?
Even though I changed today’s plan, I feel great. It was definitely a tough workout for me, but it motivated me a bit more to push for that next goal. Five weeks! Maybe this running buddy situation will continue to work out?