Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Man in Teal Tights

Earlier this week, I went on a run at lunch. The temperature was in the mid 20's with low wind. I'd brought my cold weather gear, so I decided to head out for an easy four miler.

I ran at my average pace (10 to a 10:30) until I reached the Shedd Aquarium.

I turned around to head back and made a quick stop to tie my shoes.

As I started running again, I saw him. A man in tight teal running tights.

He was a shorter man, running rather slowly up the hill between Museum Campus and Lake Shore Drive. After taking a quick glance at his pace, I had a feeling I'd be passing him.

As I came within a few strides of him though, he picked up the pace.

I sensed that he wasn't going to be outrun by a girl even in his teal tights, so I stayed within a few strides of him. Our pace went from a ten minute mile, to a 9:30.

I remembered how, in the CARA marathon training group, we'd discussed 'speed training' in the winter so that we would all start in the 10 minute mile group next year. I guess I mind as well take advantage of this situation, right?

We passed Buckingham Fountain and he took a look back to see where I was, then turned it up again. Now we were doing around a 9:15. I considered easing off and letting him go, but at this point in my run, I had nothing to lose. So I stayed with him.

As we crossed the bridge over the river, we were doing a sub 9 minute mile.

It was tough to keep the pace for long. My breathing was labored. We were nearing my turn off point on the north side of the river - I just hoped I could stay with the teal tights until then.

When we reached my turn, we went our separate ways. I am sure teal tights thought I wimped out and quit. I guess I did, sorta. I reached my ending point and did a short walk to cool down. I was breathing hard and was walking slow. My lungs burned, but other than that, I felt great!

I walked back in to my office. Even a half hour later I could tell I'd had a challenging run.

Speed work in the mid-20s = very challenging.

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