This morning I ran with a group from SRR that meets at Davis Square in Somerville. Each week somebody in the group sends an e-mail to the list volunteering to plan a route of a certain distance. People reply if they intend to run, or sometimes with requests for alternative distances that better match their needs. By Saturday a concrete plan coalesces and anyone whose training plan happens to fit in with the result shows up to run.
This week, Adena sent out a plan that called for an initial 10 mile loop followed an extra 5 mile loop for people who wanted more miles. Since this is a rest week, I was only looking to do 10-14 easy miles today. Davis Square is about two miles from my home in Arlington, so I decided to run to Davis and join the group for the 10 mile loop. Seven other runners met at Au Bon Pain for the 8AM start and Adena led us on a hilly route out through Medford to Winchester and back.
The Davis group runs at about a 9:30 pace, a little slower than the 8:45-9:00 minute pace that I usually do when I’m by myself for long runs. It’s actually harder for me to hold onto good running form when I’m running at a pace that’s a little too slow than it is if I’m running faster than usual, but it’s good practice for me to do it every once in a while, especially on rest weeks. The nice thing about running slower is when my form does slip, my mistakes hurt less, though that lack of painful feedback is part of the reason my form slips in the first place.
Running at a slower pace than usual does make it easier to talk, and that’s what’s makes running with the group enjoyable. Early on, I spent much of my time chatting with Adena and Shaun. In September, the three of us are running the eight legs at the Lake Winnipesaukee Relay as a team. We were all more interested in getting in a long, hilly training run for other events than we were in racing a relay we’ve done multiple times. Then I spent most of the last half of the run talking about running, writing, and publishing with Todd, who I hadn’t met before. He’s works with Liz at the Boston Globe, and he just finished his third marathon out in San Francisco.
A little more than nine miles into Adena’s loop, we crossed the route I take back to Arlington from Davis, so I left the group there and trotted home.
(13 mi. run; 149#)