This weekend I had the opportunity to run a really fun 4-miler with an old friend of mine, Danny. We had both been trying hard to find races we could do together, and this happened to be the first one we could find. It was so nice to get together, especially since the last time we saw each other was at his wedding to his sweet wife, Dominique, in March 2011. I don’t think we’ll go that long without seeing each other again, though (especially considering the fact that we’ve already signed up for a second race in July!)
Coming into this run, I was unsure about how we would run it (Go all out? Take it easy & chat?) especially since this is actually the first time I’ve ever run a whole race with someone. Usually I am more than happy to start a race with friends or Brian, but we always split right after the start. Danny and I, though, run around the same pace, so it’s a perfect running buddy match. Even though the race was at “twilight” (sort of), it was still somewhat warm out, so we didn’t go crazy, but we kept a good pace. Luckily the weather (and the distance, ha) was nothing like last weekend’s half marathon, whew, so we did have some freedom to push a little harder. In the end we decided to respect the heat and do a happy compromise between an easier run (8:30-8:45 min/miles) and an all-out race (8:05 min/mile pace).
What I will say about this experience is that I am so happy to have found a running buddy who runs the same speed as me! I think we were both sort of nervous about keeping up with the other, but I think that’s probably a good mentality for me to have because it keeps me from getting lazy. I didn’t listen to any music the entire four miles (and didn’t hate it), which I have never done before; even if I’m not paying attention to it, I always have music going. It was nice to have someone else to distract me, even if we didn’t hold deep conversations while racing. Also, what really amazed me was that running with Danny kept my pace so consistent! We ran straight 8:20 min/miles the entire race. Every time my Garmin beeped, I’d give a pace update, and every single time it was “8:20!” I will definitely be utilizing Danny for MCM training long runs (this is your warning, Danny! Ha.)
In short, I loved this race! It was at 7:30pm and centered around family fun and a twilight celebration festival afterwards. There were moon-bounces, face-painting, pizza, ice cream, snow-cones, a fun run, etc. I will for sure run this next year and since Caroline probably won’t have a strict 6:45-7pm bedtime next summer, the rest of the brood will come along too.
Finishing time was 34:11 (watch time AND official time), and I was 77 out of 474 women (16%). They didn’t rank overall (just by sex) and I don’t feel like doing math so who knows where I ranked among everyone. Technically our finishing time shows up as 8:33 min/miles, but both of our GPS devices have us at 8:20. My Garmin has us running 4.1 miles (and I know discrepancies aren’t unusual, but this one is), and in this race, I totally believe we ran that extra 0.1. We were weaving champions, and constantly running outside the “cones” that they used to mark & measure the race. We both felt like our pace was definitely more towards the 8:20 pace, too, so this time around, I’m sort of inclined to give the Garmin the benefit of the doubt about actual distance run. The Garmin has never been that off before in a short race/run, and has only ever been that far off during half marathon distances. I’ve actually stopped using MMR and started relying almost solely on the Garmin simply because of its consistency (another story for another day).
Not a big deal regardless because it was still a 4-miler PR for me (previous 4-miler PR was 35:08 back in December at Pacers’ Fairfax Four-Miler), and I know the effort/pace was there! We were just really surprised at the big discrepancy.
Thanks, Danny, for a super fun (8:20 min/mile 😉) race, & I am excited to do it again in July (at a much faster pace)!