Sunday, August 8, 2010

CRC Long Run

AM: 1 hour 41 mins. (14 miles)

This morning's long run was very much a group effort, as most of the best ones are. With a 7:30 start time, Jordan, Jenna and I comprised the "late" group, but fortunately the "early" group was amenable to swinging by Boyce and picking us up. And what a group it was! Jay, Caitlin, Megan, Ben, Mike, Alana, Brian, Alana's dad (on the bike) and several more crested the hill to the parking lot seeming very chipper and cheery and much too energetic for halfway through their long run. This meant that it took me several miles to get in gear and feel comfortable with the relatively brisk pace, but once I did it was smooth sailing. It also didn't hurt that the weather was similar to yesterday morning, though sunnier, but overall much more manageable than on Sundays past. It was almost--dare I say it--pleasant.

After several miles meandering through the back trails in Boyce (amazingly, these were trails I never knew existed until today), we popped out onto the main path and headed out for an easy loop of the Footlocker course. On the way back we inadvertently separated like a middle school dance, with boys headed one way and girls headed another, but only because the boys were finishing up at Old Bell and we girls wanted some more shade in the Boyce direction. For several miles it was just me, Jenna, Alana, Caitlin and Megan, and I found myself thinking about how impressive of a group this was. I mean, not to toot our collective horn, but among us you've got a 2:50 marathoner, a sub-2:40 marathoner and two-time OT qualifier, a 1:20 half marathoner (soon to be an OT qualifier herself!), a 16:30 5ker, and the second fastest 12-year-old 5k runner in US history behind Jordan Hasay. (Speaking of, there's a great article about Alana in this month's Running Times magazine, as well as this accompanying article on their web site. You should check them out. She's sort of a big deal.) If Pezz weren't out of town you could've thrown her 16:30 and 10:10 steeple credentials into the mix as well. Now I realize there are plenty of post-collegiate training groups with this kind of talent, but to have all of us living and training here as part of the non-sponsored, non-paying Charlotte Running Club is pretty cool.

But I digress. Like the last spoonful of peanut butter in the bottom of the jar, all good things must come to an end, and this group run was no exception. Before long I'd deposited Jenna at Boyce, dispatched Alana back toward Old Bell and said farewell to Megan and Caitlin at the main entrance. This left me with about four miles of solo running ahead, a prospect that I did not relish. Surprisingly, however, these ended up being some of the best miles of the entire run. My legs felt unusually fresh, almost as if I were just starting the run instead of finishing it, and when the parking lot came into view I was almost sorry to stop. Then Jordan returned and promises of flapjacks and eggs were made and all thoughts of running were tossed by the wayside.


caitchris said...

Enjoyed the read Meegan. Except for the few instances where I mentioned that my legs felt awful, I tried to keep it to myself that I felt terrible the entire run. I didn't want to ruin the company I was enjoying.

I'm glad that yours went much better after you watched my parents and me munch on cantaloupe.