Throughout the week, I was bugging Robert, (who is the one that convinced me to do the 1/2 marathon in May rather than waiting until October) to help me organize group runs on Sundays in preparation for the 1/2. We worked out the details, and planned for everyone to meet this morning at 9:30 to run 6 miles at a local park. I was excited, but nervous about running with other people. However, Robert is one of my best friends ever, and I met him because he was my personal trainer when I first started running. He has already seen me in various forms of hacking, coughing, and snotting on myself. Not to mention, I felt like I needed his direction because he knows what he's talking about. I basically think that he is awesome, and I love him. It turned out that it was just me, Robert, Carol & Amanda...at one point (ahem...pre-gazelle), the 4 of us hung out often, so it a was very comfortable group. We decided to do 6 miles, which was 2 loops around the lake. The 3 mile loop includes a lot of hills. Especially between the 2nd and 3rd mile in the loop. It is miserable. By the time you finish one hill, you really only have 10 seconds to recover before you hit the next one. Repeat. Repeat again.
Before we began, Robert studied my gait. He was VERY impressed by how much it has improved since the last time I called him in desperation over my knee pain. He actually said that he was very surprised that it was "10 times better". That made me so happy.
The first loop, Robert ran around the lake with me. He wanted to help me pick up my pace, so we stayed in step the whole time...he slowed down with me when necessary. We were running at about 10:30 pace according to my Nike +, and then when we hit the hills at the end, we slowed down quite a bit.
The reason why everyone should have a great running coach/personal trainer: When I was ready to fall on the side of the path and die, Robert grabbed my arm and basically dragged me up that series of hills. No really. He dragged me up the hills. Held my hand and wouldn't let it go until the hill was over. It felt so corny, and I was hoping that nobody passed us at that point, but I was thankful. He encouraged me the entire way up those damn hills. Told me to run on my toes (yeah, never knew that). Told me I was doing awesome. Told me we were almost there. I definitely would have given up if he wasn't there.
Did I mention that I love Robert?
I did make it through the first loop, averaging about 10:45/mile, which is really awesome for me, especially given the terrain. I ran the second loop on my own, and really kept a nice pace. I walked very little, to my surprise, and finished the run with 6.25 miles, average pace of 11:10. I came home and couldn't really believe what I had just done.
I just ran 6.25 miles. My longest run ever. And I did it with an 11:10 average pace.
For this, I'm awarding myself another Wonder Woman Moment. Just go with it.
Next week, we run 7 miles on Sunday. We have a standing 9:30AM long Sunday run date. If it rains or whathaveyou, we'll meet at Robert's studio and run there inside. I'm excited about the idea of having peeps to run with. This is kind of funny considering that just a short time ago, I had a chronic case of runningpartnerophobia.
It's all about the girl power. And there's no room for runningpartnerophobia when you have girl power.