Yesterday,Mary and I ran for about 1 hour and 40 minutes on dirt roads and trails from her house near North Conway, NH. We have run together on Tuesdays for years, but this summer we haven't seen much of each other. She's been busy with family activities and has taken a bit of a hiatus from running. Now she's back at it.
Mary has been running as long as I have. We both peaked on the road racing circuit around the same time and were good competition for each other. Despite the tough competition we gave each other, We always got along well. I can remember many occasions where we would be battling it out in a race and still take the time and energy to exchange a few pleasantries before one of us blew by the other. Over the years we became good friends.
Any run from Mary's house involves a steady climb for the first half, then a turn around and a steady downhill back. We had a lot of catching up to do, so the miles went by fast. Mary keeps me laughing. She told me that when she runs road races these days, other runners come up to her after the race and pat her on the back and say things like, "good for you, Mary. You can't run anymore, but you're still out here trying." Her new method of avoiding these comments is to run races with her young daughter so people will assume she is slowing down for the daughter. The problem with this is that her daughter is getting hard to keep up with!
After our run we had a nice lunch at Mary's house. We took some time to write up a training plan for the daughter. If she follows it, she'll be impossible for Mary to keep up with by Spring!