With some pretty major plans for the weekend -- a Cub's game, BBQs gallore, fireworks and more -- I REALLY wanted to get my long run out of the way on Friday morning.
Thanks to an e-mail sent out by my pace leader, I was able to find a buddy to run with and am pleased to report a hefty 11ish-miles has been run. What's more, I felt great during the entire run. The weather was party cloudy and high-60s with a slight breeze. Towards the end, the clouds began to break, signaling the start of a good day. To top it off, I met a new friend and running partner.
Eleven miles is pretty far... in my opinion. It's almost half the marathon, and continuing to feel strong throughout the long runs is building my confidence. I think my strength -- at least in part -- is due to genetics and my strong cardio base, but I'm convinced that running with others is adding to my success.
And apparantly, I'm not the only one who feels this way. I read an article in the NYT a few weeks ago about the benefits of running with others. Check out this exerpt:
"When Ms. Kislevitz decided to run her first marathon, a friend elected to help her get through the unknown of the long run. She was hesitant, not wanting to sacrifice her private time where she wrote many of her articles in her head. But then she and her friend started the run.
'We fell into the same pace, and before I knew it, the ten miles were over,' she said. 'We were talking about our kids and our marriages and I thought, ‘This is amazing, how could I ever run a long run alone again?’'
She added: 'You don’t really notice the pain. If you start whining, someone is going to tell you to shut up.'"