I am not a fast runner. I'm not really a slow runner either; I guess you could say I'm a half-fast runner. (sorry)
When I do runs of about 9 miles or longer, I struggle breaking through that psychological 10-minute-mile barrier. Over the past few months, these have been my paces for runs greater than 9 miles: 9.7, 10.1, 10.1, 10.0, 11.0, 10.7, 9.6, 10.8, 10.3, 10.5. (yes, the 9.6 was just 9 miles.)
Tri Team Teacher Gerald saw my post a few days ago about wanting to speed up my runs a bit, and he offered to run with me as a "rabbit": someone to keep up a good pace. Well, last night I ran 10.3 miles doing 9.0-minute-miles. That's huge for me. I often do 5 and 6 mile runs at paces slower than that.
Now you're probably thinking "golly, that was mighty nice of Gerald to go out running with Mister P. to help him along." That's because you're assuming I took him up on his offer. You think I'm crazy enough to go running with him? Oh hell no.
Here's some dangerous insight into the way Mister P. thinks: See, when I said I wanted to break 10-minute-miles, I meant I wanted to do 9.9's. And I knew that for my own good Gerald would push me harder than that. But I don't want what's good for me. I want what's easy. And I also knew that if I wasn't able to pick up the pace on my own, I'd have to get outside help. So out of fear of having to run 9.5 minute miles with Gerald, I wound up doing 9.0s. Imagine a kid being told "if you don't get a B average this semester you're going to military school". And the kid gets an A.
Now that I know a 9-minute pace won't kill me, I feel a lot safer going out with Gerald sometime. What's that? Did he say 8-minute? Forget it. Now I'm hoping he'll offer to help me with my half-ironman training. I don't want the actual help, but the fear of the workouts should really whip me into shape.