“Time trials!” Coach Ige declared loudly as he arrived at the Mizuno Run Club. Chatting away with Marga and a new blogging-running friend, Taki, we almost fell off our seats when we heard this. I glanced at the other lady runners across me—two long and lean sisters who were half my age and another runner who looked like a track-and-field athlete—and I knew Marga and I were the only intermediate women runners there. I wanted to hug her and condole with her for our upcoming demise.
Coach Ige comforted us by saying this was all in the spirit of fun. (No, they wouldn’t post a list in front of the Mizuno Store for the viewing public to laugh at our time way down at the bottom.) We were running against ourselves and no one else. Weeks from now we would time ourselves again and astound ourselves with our improvements. Okay, I was up for it.
We were to run 3 laps around High Street, six runners at a time. Men were going first. As we watched the first group of runners speed away, I laughed nervously. I needed a warm up.
We asked Coach if we could run along with the other group for a warm up and he says to go ahead and time ourselves already. Oh okay, this was going to be it. I ran with Gelo, a regular run club participant, and Marga. We started off slow then gradually found our own pace and separated.
I ran the 3 laps (4.10 km) at 20.19 minutes with a 4:57 min/km pace. Not my fastest as I didn’t hear Lance congratulating me on my nano, but it was still a good time for me. I ran another two laps at a slower pace just to get a little bit more mileage in for the day.
After the run, I saw Jujet de Asis and asked his time; it was 11 minutes. Then, I met other athletes, Liza Yambao, who won the Milo Marathon at age 21 and held its record for a while, and Barz, another young athlete, who both enthusiastically shared their tips on training for a marathon. We all agreed to meet up one time for a training run in the future. Little ol’ me running with these super athletes?! I was bewildered, amused, and oh so excited!
Running with elite runners could significantly improve my runs. I look forward to learning the technical aspects of running and other aspects that should help me modify my training program and show some results. But, more than that, I’m looking forward to just being around people who love running as much as I do (or perhaps a little bit more!) They’re energy alone is intoxicating.
For starters, Jujet shared a little tip that can help ease pre-race jitters: Drink a bottle of beer before hitting the sack. Hmmm… I’m not sure if that’s one tip that will work for me, but I’m pretty sure some of you guys are looking forward to trying that out.