I woke up at 7AM this morning on a quest: to do my Long Slow Run while participating in a "Virtual 10K". I did a Virtual 5K on Thanksgiving Day so I figured this would be equally fun. I was supposed to run 6 miles on my LSR anyway, so adding .2 miles to the distance wasn't gonna kill me.
I also decided to do my run today with members of my Run Club. It sounds strange but, I joined the Run Club this summer and since that time I have only run with them during the Hot Chocolate 15K race (I ran it with 3 members of the club). Their regular runs were either conflicted with other runs I had planned, or their distances were further than I could go.
So today, I got dressed and headed to LifeTime. I met up with 6-7 other members and we were off and running! Four of them were way faster than I was planning to run, and the others were slower than my pace. So I ended up running by myself. But it was still cool to know others were out there with me. I considered listening to music since I was kinda 'goin solo' but decided not to waste the time to dig out my Nano.
The first two miles were pretty normal. I was running at a 10:00/mm pace, the route was a bike path with rolling hills, nothing I couldn't handle. Then I came to "Cardiac Hill" (where I do my Hill Work). My friend Mike warned me last night that the Run Club's route includes the "hill". I figured I could handle it. Well running down the hill wasn't too bad. Then I hit the Illinois Prairie Path and before I knew it, I had reached 3.1 miles in about 30 minutes. Time to turn around.
Now, going back to the club was a bit more challenging. The first one was Cardiac Hill which was about 3/4 mile in front of me. When I got to the base of the hill, I decided to run up the hill all the way like I do in my hill training. This would be a new experience since my legs had run 3.5 miles already. So I surged forward and took the hill at a 10:15/mm pace! It was tough! When I got to the next stop sign, I was winded so I let myself walk for about 2 minutes.
Then I kept moving onward! Only 2.1 miles remaining! Of course, all those 'rolling hills' of the route felt a lot harder to my legs now than they did in the beginning of the run. LOL! I decided not to check my watch and just keep running. And before I knew it, I was almost back at the beginning of the bike path. I checked my watch and I was at 6.1 miles! So I did a little sprint until I reached 6.21 and then I logged the lap on the watch (finish time 1:06:27) and walked the remaining .3 miles back to the club, where I saw three of the Run Club members chatting. I got one of them to take my photo before I headed in to take a shower.
I am very pleased with the finish time, as well as my performance on the route itself and particularly the Cardiac Hill. The 10:42 overall pave isn't going to break any records, but it is a LSR pace I am comfortable with. I posted my results on the Virtual 10K page and sometime next week, I will find out how I did compared with the other participants.
A great way to start Christmas Eve! Afterwards, my wife and I had breakfast at the IHOP, shopped for stocking stuffers, and eventually made it back to the house. Now I can relax before my daughter and I sing a special duet ("Mary, Did you Know") during the Christmas Eve service at our church. I am really excited about that!