This afternoon I drove out to North Conway to get a longish run in. I ran out and back over Dundee starting at the Intervale end, running to the Jackson end, and then returning. This route is about as hilly as it gets. I felt slow, but very powerful on the climbs. By some pacing miracle, I arrived at M's house exactly at 4:15 as planned. Actually, it was 4:13:45 when I looked at my watch at the top of her driveway so I ran down to her house at a very slow jog to impress her with my exact timing. I had a quick drink, which she kindly had waiting for me on the porch steps, then we were off for more running.
M is my Tuesday training partner, but Monday worked out better for us both this week. M hadn't run or done any exercise at all for over six months due to health issues. When she joined me today, she had been back at it for exactly 4 days. This was only her 5th run. I planned on being patient with her and looked forward to some very slow running. I was surprised when she turned up Town Hall Rd (more hills!) at a decent pace. As she pulled me along, she started talking about running a marathon at the end of May on eight weeks of running. If anyone can do it, M can.
We talked all the way out and back so the miles went by quick. I had done about 10.5 miles before M joined me and we did another 8 together for a total of 18.5 in 2:42.
While M cooked us dinner, I had a chance to talk with her daughter, an aspiring young runner. She was telling me about different road races she wanted to run this summer. I asked her why she likes to run. One might hope to hear something along the lines of, "for fun and fitness," but without any hesitation she stated, "to win trophies and money and get my picture in the paper." You have to love the honesty.