As I've noted in the past, I am not the most social animal. In fact, I'm kind of like a neighborhood cat that always around but never really interacts much with others. I don't really run with others all that often. The nOg Runs are great for me because I can run with tons of people, but I can keep to myself without seeming like the weird creepy guy. Really, I am not recluse, shut in, completely devoid of social skills and personal hygiene. I bathe daily -- often with soap! Seriously, small talk just isn't my thing. I can do it, but given the opportunity to avoid it -- I will. And, I damn sure won't seek it out. If I see someone that looks completely disinterested in meaningless yet somewhat obligatory social interaction. I'm more than happy to leave that person to themselves.
However, that doesn't mean that I am against the idea of joining a running group. I would love to find a group of people, who are obsessive as I am to meet up and run with on a regular basis, but I just don't know many people in my area that fit the bill. I've gone through some major re-locations as an adult and have been rather piss poor at maintaining personal relationships, so I am not one of those folks that has a bunch of close friends that they can rope into joining them for merry escapades and adventures. Also, running sometimes borders on a spiritual experience to me, and those moments are usually only found when your alone and perhaps on the verge of collapse.
All of this being said, running still is a great social outlet, and sometimes even the neighborhood cat, who most often scurries off under a car when you walk near it, will come up to you and act like it wants to play. Well, Thursday night, this cat wanted to play . . . I needed to run with other people. I just couldn't bring myself to hit the streets alone after work, and Hiroko was beat from a 12 hour day at work! So, I ventured to Fleet Feet for their social run. I am pretty off and on with the Fleet Feet Thursday night social runs, but I was pretty much a fixture in early spring. But, I stayed away while I trained for my Half Marathon. It was good to get back to running with other people in a small group. They were doing a Halloween costume thing, but I wasn't aware and came sans costume. Otherwise, I might have dressed up as Peggy from the Discover Card Commercials, "Hello, My name Peggy. I help you." My run was awesome, and it was good to run with someone else. I ended up doing the four mile course; however, there was only one other runner running that distance, but we made the best of it. We ran with the other groups until our turn off at around the1.5 mile mark, after that we were on our own. The lady I was running with said she a had been doing about ten and half minute miles recently, but that she was willing to try and keep up until we hit the hills in the fourth mile, then all bets were off. But, she did really well and hung with me for most of the course and only really fell behind at the end of the last hill. I was really glad to run with her because, since she didn't know the route that well, it forced me to make sure I didn't go out too fast on the early down hill and flat portion of the course, which I tend to do on this route, only to pay the price on the last long hill. I am hoping to focus on my pacing before my next half, so I can set a realistic goal.
I was really happy at how I handled the hill and finished the course and can see a huge difference from the last time I ran it in May and fell out. I have one more race coming up and don't really know what to expect. It is a 10k with a course that is similar to this course. But, I doubt that this run will give me any real insight into how the race will go.
I did 4 miles in 40:55 for a 10:07 and felt fine after the run. Really. It was the best I have felt after a run in some time.
Mile 1 9:42
Mile 2 9:51