I am a member of two different running clubs in my area. One of the clubs features running meetups daily. I have an app on my phone that connects me to the club and alerts me when another run has been posted. Usually there are anywhere from 3-5 meetups on a given day in all different cities in the area. Some are in the morning, some are at night, and the miles and paces vary from beginners 3 mile trail runs to long runs at the beach that reach 20+ miles.
Last night, there was a meetup close by and I decided to join them. The host of the meetup, T, is one of my favorite hosts. She is always very welcoming to the new runners and is very motivating. Back in March, when I first joined this running club, it was one of her meetups that I chose to attend as my first one with the group. The run we went on last night was scheduled to be 6 miles at a 9:30-10:00 pace through country roads and trails. Everyone was in agreement to add a little more distance, so we decided the just run the route with a slight detour and see what we ended up with.
Usually with any distance over 5 or 6 miles, we will slow the pace down to a 10:30 – sub 11:00, especially now that it is summer and the heat can quickly overtake the run, no matter how good your feeling prior. No need to experience heat exhaustion if it can be prevented. (Keep an eye out for a post on how to beat the heat…) This meetup however, was during the evening and it was overcast with a nice breeze. We decided to bump up the pace. It’s been awhile since I’ve completed a longer distance with an average pace sub-10:00, so I was very excited to see the average and the splits from the run…
Splits: 9:32, 9:26, 9:57, 9:50. 9:47, 10:08, 10:08, 4:21 (for the last .45), for a total of 7.45 miles in 1:13:09, and an average pace of 9:49 per mile.
The route we took was through a neighborhood, down some “back” country roads, a farm, a local trail for horseback riding. I had taken this route during the early spring when it was still cold so the full summer scenery was quite pleasant. I’m definitely looking forward to more runs down that way. It did however, pour down rain the night before so the trails were a little muddy. We had to play hopscotch to avoid the larger puddles and the extra slippery spots. A lot of the mud however, was unavoidable and my Brooks were officially christened.