After exchanging several emails on Christmas day with Bill Sumner, coach of Corona Del Mar High School and at the Cal Coast Track Cub, I finally linked up with Juan and Juan...two runners of the CCTC. Bill Sumner was really helpful and I am really grateful for him linking me up with people to do 16 miles with! He has the most wins of any high school coach in California history. Cool stuff!
I met up with the two Juans at 830am at the Back Bay and I soon learned the plan was to do 8 out and back. After that, I was going to run back to my sister's house which was a perfect 2 miles away. We started out with a 7:15 mile and that would be our slowest mile split of the day. For the next seven miles, I enjoyed the view of the snow covered mountains in the backdrop and the beauties of UC Irvine's campus. At 8 miles, we began to dip under 7 minute pace for a progression run. It wasn't anything that we had verbally agreed to, it just felt good for our legs to gradually pick up the pace, and so we did. My legs felt great until about miles 14-15, where they began to feel fatigued. My breathing became more labored, but I had enough in me to finish up right around 6:00 for the last mile.
One of the Juans has never run a marathon and asked for some advice. I told him to go out so slow that he feels like he needs to rip his hair out it's so boring. The other Juan is 41 years old and looks like he is 30. He was the 2010 masters champion at the LA Marathon this year. It was cool running with such a local stud! He told me that he "liked marathons best because they are like a journey." I never had thought of it like that, and I liked his analogy. I'm going to remember that when my marathon training cycle starts for the Olympic Trials.
I really enjoyed the company and might even link up with these guys again for a tempo on Thursday! It's a lot of fun meeting people from other running clubs and hearing about how they work. This club has workouts led by a coach on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. I will continue to get more ides from other clubs to hopefully incorporate into the Charlotte Running Club's future.
After the 16 miles were over, I ran 2 miles back to my sister's and we enjoyed the rest of the day at the timeshare. I went in the hot tub for 20 minutes and wanted to alternate hot/cold, but the pool was heated so it was not worth it to jump out of the tub. It's definitely nice to be with my family during the holiday season.