Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spoiled Rotten

Over the past two months, I’ve had two workouts in which I was supposed to run 55-60 minutes at a pace faster than 6:30 minutes per mile. For both of those workouts, I was lucky enough to have a pacer the entire time.

My gracious guest? Jordan Kinley. You’ve probably heard of him. If not, I’ll spark your memory. He won Charlotte’s Thunder Road Marathon after deciding to run it the night before. He placed third at the Shamrock 4 Miler two weeks ago. The following morning, he bounced right back at 3am for a drive to Raleigh to eventually place 2nd at the Tobacco Road Marathon.

Of course, Jordan uses a much better term to describe pacing me, but I’ll let you read it on his blog. To further prove how studly Jordan can really be, he ran a 60 minute tempo with me approximately five days after achieving a new marathon PR. Selfishly, I was pretty happy that his legs were recuperating from 26.2 miles because it meant that he would be keeping me company.

The clouds were looking pretty ominous as I drove out to McAlpine after work, but luckily the rain came after the workout. At McAlpine, we started running and enjoyed some casual conversation. I noticed that Jordan did not wear a watch and knew that he was really just out there to help me get through this workout successfully. We didn’t really warm-up because I started pushing the pace after the first mile (640).

After that, I just wanted to get the workout done as quickly as possible so tried to work hard at what I thought was 630 pace. I was wrong. We went through the second and third miles in 612/613. At that point, I was still able to hold a decent conversation with Jordan, which is a feat I am rather proud of. I learned more about his job, and also about Meagan’s options post-graduation. After the fourth mile (606), I stopped talking for obvious reasons.

It was also around this point when I was stressing about my ability to finish the workout because my quads were screaming. This in turn made it much more difficult for me to breathe. When I psych myself out and tense up, my breathing goes crazy. You can see this mini mental breakdown with my times in miles 5 and 6 – in which I ran 611 and 620 respectively. During the sixth mile, I gave myself a mental “break” and told myself that it was okay for me to go slower since I was already going faster than 630.

Eventually I saw that Jordan was trying to maintain the same pace I had been running because he was a couple of meters ahead of me. I decided to man up and pushed aside thoughts of not finishing the workout and replaced them with thoughts of getting my breathing back under control. This helped me finish up the last 2.5 miles because I had something to focus on rather than the lethargic feeling in my quads. My last two miles were 613 and 608 and the clock could not have turned any sooner than it did!

Jordan and I ran very slowly for the cool down and I told him how horrible I felt and then told him I owed him a beer. Overall, I am very appreciative of the cameo appearances Jordan makes in my workout schedule. I still owe him a beer or three, and didn’t even buy him one that night when Matt, John, Jordan, and I all went to Dixie’s. I’m sure there will be a CRC Social in which I can repay him for his speedy legs.

To further prop him up onto a pedestal, I found out that the next day, Jordan paced Ben Hovis in a tempo. Now that’s what I call awesome. Jordan also officially joined the Charlotte Running Club, so I'm sure you'll see his name more often in the newsletter.


mrn said...

he is so dreamy.

JoKin said...

that was a good workout. i'll play "king maker/queen maker" any day.

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