Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Long Run Starts the Weekend

Since Aaron is out of commission with his strained calf, I took it upon myself to organize a group long run at McAlpine. I was pleasantly surprised when all my CRC buddies showed up, right on time at 630am, ready to roll. We had a solid group of guys mainly – Paul, Steve, John, Ben, Mike, Jason, Jordan, Thomas - and a pair of girls – Michelle and I. We started off nice and easy, which is expected during the early morning hours. We started a good 50m ahead of Jordan as he used the first 10 minutes to wake himself up. When his legs finally got rolling, he greeted us by spanking John so hard that I thought it was John’s foot hitting the pavement. For the first half of the run, I participated in some small talk with various people, but mainly enjoyed the weather. After all, it seemed like the winds from Northern California had blown their cool weather our way so it makes sense that I was thoroughly enjoying the 60 degree temperature and the low heat index.

That being said, the first hour of the run went by fairly slowly and I was hoping that the second half would go by much quicker. Once we got out of the Boyce trails, we began to pick up the pace. Jordan and I began to run down a very slender / muscular middle-aged man who was running at decent clip. As we were chasing him, Jordan and I lead the pack to a pace in the 630s. Right when we thought we were about to catch him, he turned the opposite way as we turned onto the cross country course.

At this moment, I made a silent decision to pick up the pace. My legs felt fresh and the weather was great, so I figured – why not? I assumed the guys would follow my lead, and fortunately they did with no complaint. We got in a solid mile on the XC course, and then once we hit the trail, Jordan took off hard, with Steve following. Mike and I held on together to complete the mile with the hill in a solid 613. We eased up to “cool down” to find out later that even during our cool down, we were still going at a clip of 630. It felt easy and relaxed and I ended the run with my endorphins running high. Damn, I felt good!

After some light stretching, Thomas, Michelle, Jordan, John and I all met up at Zada Jane’s to enjoy some berry pancakes and biscuits smeared with the best apple butter in town. It is true that we went to Zada Jane’s directly after our long run, without having taken any sort of shower. That’s how runners do it!

The long run and breakfast were a great way to start the rest of my weekend, which featured a getaway to the grand town of Greeneville, Tennessee to reunite with Garrett and his family and enjoy some minor league baseball at the same time!


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