The question was simple. Would I be interested in leading the Run Club? The leader (and founder) of Run Club was going to be out of town unexpectedly, and she wanted there to be a run even without her there.
I considered, and I accepted. Because it wouldn’t be all that involved. Pick a route, know the route, make sure everyone stuck mostly together and no one got left alone.
The last turned out to be even easier than anticipated when only three people, including me, showed up.
Now, that isn’t entirely atypical. I don’t think people weren’t showing up because I was leading. I think that might have been a good excuse not to show up for some, and that, for some, any excuse not to run in the dark and cold is a sufficient one. But three to six is a typical number for Run Club right now, so I was okay.
Well, I was okay to start. The two people who showed up were faster than me. And although we started at a “slower” pace, once they warmed up I was thrashing myself to keep up.
We ran a new route, one I’d made up on Map My Run to try and include a detour through Parkcenter Park because I like it. It wasn’t quite a 4 mile route, but it was close, with certain options. At the last minute, I decided to reverse it, starting through Williams Park and ending with Parkcenter Park, because that would increase the number of options and also leave the decision of whether we go long or go short for the end.
We ran the first mile in about 9:30, an unprecedented pace for me. After that, it was all I could do to keep up and endure. In some ways, it was a really good training run for me. I want to get faster.
On the other hand, I didn’t feel like very much of a leader, yelling out to people a block and a half ahead of me that it was time to turn. But at least I knew no one else was getting left behind…
In the end, taking one wrong turn and all the long options, I ran 3.9 miles in under 39 minutes – they did the same distance, but faster. It was my longest fast run in over a year. I got past the pain of pushing my pace and I finished what felt more like an endurance workout than a Run Club run.
I’d lead Run Club again, but if no one slower shows up I’ll probably be more forceful in slowing the pace to a level I can endure comfortably. Then again, maybe I’ll treat it as my very own endurance WOD once more and see how fast I can run.