It’s not too often you run through a flashback… literally….. I was invited to run with a Sunday group run by Paul McRae who is the owner of Personal Running Solutions (great group and coaching if you live in Jax!!!! He does a great job coaching my Awesome GF who lives there while she goes to school to be a really smart medical professional)
Let me start this off by looking back in the past. I was blessed with the experience to be a college athlete (Back before I picked up the title LAZY RUNNER) for the University of Central Florida (Go KNIGHTS!!! WHAHOO!!!! UCF!!!…. wait back to the blog) from 2001-2004. During that time I dated one of the girls on the Cross Country/Track Team for about a year and half or maybe 2 years, I don’t remember. Girl X was also from Jax so we would end up there every now and then to visit her family and my family….
Side note (Congrats to her! She just had a healthy beautiful baby with her husband and I wish them both the best)
Now lets fast-forward back to this past weekend! Its 5:15 in the morning when I pulled up the Julington Creek Starbucks (the meeting location… actually EVERY RUN SHOULD FINISH AT STARBUCKS) there were already 2 runners there. One of the runners was a manager for one of the local running stores (1st Place Sports) and the second runner was a slender girl decked out in warm sleeves, compression socks, and bun huggers. Here is the part that’s funny!(maybe) Within seconds of meeting her she reminded me of Girl X, in look, attitude, mannerisms, and the way she talked… It was kind of weird…
Within a few minutes of 2 more cars pulled up, another guy(Assistant Coach for UNF’s XC Team) and a little Asian girl. Everyone in the group greets me with a “hello” but this little Asian girl looked at me and demanded to know who I was…. “Um… Benjamin… Hi?”, “Who invited you”… “Um… Paul with PRS” (he didn’t even show up there, he ran somewhere else that morning) and she was nice enough to respond with “ok” and then went around another car to stretch. Friendly girl was the only thing I can think of….
The game plan was to crank out a nice easy 20 mile run (I didn’t realize the group I was with). We started the run with a nice 7:40 pace and I was grateful to finally find people who moved at decent pace for the long run.. So here is the breakdown of the average times (guessing but I know the total overall average) for the run:
1st loop (11 miles)
- First 5 miles we were at a 7:40 pace
- Next 4 miles – 7:30 pace
- Next 2 miles – 7:15
2nd loop (9 Miles)
- 2 miles – 7:15 pace
- 3 miles 7:00 pace
- And they planned for the next 5 miles at a 6:30 pace and then an easy cool down mile
- I only did the last 4 miles at a pace like that because I was only doing 20 instead of the 22 that they planned on doing. (yes both girls kept that pace along with us dudes)
- My average for the whole run was 7:11 a mile
During the run we passed right by Girl X’s old house (twice)… and halfway through the run I started talking to the Assistant Coach for UNF (great runner for a coach, normally many of them are past their prime running days) and he was the coach for Girl X when she was in HS, and he now currently works with her brother who is the Assistant Athletic Director for UNF… and best friends with her sister’s husband. All I could think of during the run… the more I travel the smaller this world gets… and everyone is somehow connected to everyone else. Also… this is getting kinda weird…
Overall it was a great experience with a great group!!! As soon we finished up back at Starbucks (Pumpkin Spice Latte HERE I COME!!!!!) the Asian girl mentioned to me in front of the group “You surprised me! You big guys normally fade” all I could do was laugh to myself! (she is an amazing runner… let just say that she needed something for Boston and called Bart Yasso up personally and he took care of it for her, she also had a friend that didn’t get into the NYC marathon because of the lottery. One quick call and she got him a bib.)
Great week last week! 79.5 miles of running.
Now it’s time to run off to another Adventure!
Update: “The little Asian Chick” I didn’t realize this till yesterday but 11 years ago I got my butt kicked at a 5K in Jax by a little Asian girl… I was pissed until I found out that she was top 15 at the Olympic trials shortly before that race… fast-forward 11+ years later and she is still recently qualified for the Olympic trials for the marathon! SHE IS FAST!!!!