Picking up where Part 1 left off, the other concern I had with a new running compatriot would be pace. I mean, who knows how fast someone named “Ben” would run? Is a Ben faster than a Mike? Where does that compare to a Colin, or even, say, a Derrick?? Oh boy, what had I gotten myself into? At least his name wasn’t Mebrahtom. Mebs are fast.
What? Ok, so we met up at the water fountain and started up some treacherous hills. As one astute reader noted (Colin), the pace of yesterday’s snow-filled hill run wasn’t exactly slow. And that’s what I want to talk about. While we were battling up hills and dodging abominable snowmen, I talked about how I just finished the Miami Marathon, which was my 8th. He mentioned he was targeting a marathon in his hometown in NY in September, and said there was a $100 prize. ??? I asked Ben if he had run any marathons and he mentioned just one. When he was 17… I’m thinking, “wow, are you going to say how you fell apart?” Not so much. I asked his time in his one marathon, when he was 17 years old.. 2:38. What!?
That’s almost an hour faster than my fastest! He is confident he’ll win the marathon in September. I then realized something that hadn’t crossed my mind. Ben is faster than Mike. He explained that he was a member of his D-1 track team for the last 2 years, and ran a 4:08 minute mile. He wanted to meet up to run because he finds he goes out way too fast. Like, his first mile of a typical training run is in the ballpark of 5:20 min / mile. Wow, so as it turned out, running with me would be like walking in a tar-filled sandpit. So I
not-so-jokingly said that we could get together when I’m doing tempo runs and he has recovery runs. Ouch, my pride, it hurts.
So, we’ll see how long this running relationship lasts. It may come down to a “it’s not you, it’s me” and him running away from
commitment slower people like me. It’s definitely worth meeting up a few more times, but I think that we’re looking for different things from a running relationship.