Tonight I ran with the run club at my gym. The schedule said long run: 4.5-6 miles. I was hoping they would do 6 and I'd just run 1 more by myself since I have a 7 mile long run scheduled for this week. No such luck, the leader called for 4.5. It was a small group, just 8 of us... and they freaking TOOK OFF! 4 guys (including the leader) were way out front and I lost sight of them quickly. Another guy and girl were only about 10 feet ahead of me. And I fell to the back with the girl who sometimes leads. I think she just fell back with me so I wouldn't be alone. I don't get the feeling that's her pace. Kinda crazy though when an 8:33 first mile puts you dead last in a group.
The girl who was just ahead of me decided to turn back at 1.5 miles so the leader chick went with her. I was close enough behind the guy still to see where he was going. I've sorta kinda run this route before but I didn't know exactly where they turned around. We got to the end of a neighborhood and the Fast Four were waiting. They started back toward the gym as we approached. The other guy turned out of the neighborhood and took a different route back to the gym. At that point I figured I was all alone and really running pretty well so I'd just go ahead and do my own thing and get my 7 miles in.
I had literally just hit a 10k PR (58:40) when I saw the leader chick and 2 members of the Fast Four running toward me. One yelled out, "We found you!" I told them I didn't know I was lost. I guess they got worried when I didn't show back up and somehow it's a gym liability thing if something happens to a runner during a planned run. It was nice of them to come back looking for me, but really I thought it was kinda crappy to not somewhat run as a group (or at least buddies) in the first place. I'm not a rock star, but I'm not a slow beginner either. Run Club is advertised for members of all levels and I can only imagine that somebody who runs (gasp!) a less than 10 minute mile might be really discouraged in a situation like that. It didn't really bother me because I've run all but a handful of times by myself anyway.
Anyway, I had a great run. I knew that 8:33 first mile could not be sustained for 7 miles (and probably not even the planned 4.5- but if I did keep it up I would have paid whoever stuck with me to pace me for my next 5k!!!). I slowed down to the 9's once I was on my own but it still wasn't all that uncomfortable. I ended up running 6.67 miles in 1:03:05 (average pace 9:27). I planned to get all 7 miles in, but when the other runners came back for me I felt like I should finish with them, so I came up a little short on distance.
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