I went to Central Park with Reggie. Reg didn't seem to have any qualms about tackling six miles, though he hasn't much mentioned running lately and I'm not convinced he's keeping up with a good schedule. But he was willing so off we went.
The full loop of Central Park is 6.0275 miles. Perfect! The path we took up to get to the loop took us through some of the preparations for the big art thing happening in the park in the Spring. It should be very interesting. It's just a bunch of steel bases marked with plastic orange cone-shaped "flags" right now, but even that has a nice aesthetic. I can't wait to see it all finished! The loop itself was decent. We tackled hills right off and I didn't have to stop, though I slowed way down. I told Reg that if he needed to go ahead, because his stride is different, to go right on, but he was talking about taking it easy for this run, which I can understand.
The first three miles, again, were the more difficult ones, but they weren't terrible. I had forgotten to inhale the Seravent today, and was worried about that. Turns out, while I did experience some mild excercise-induced asthma, it wasn't enough to really knock me down and I didn't notice it until I'd completed the run and stopped. Anyway, at one point about a mile and a half in, Reggie said he was going to drop down into a 5-on, 5-off pattern, so I told him I'd meet him at the end of the run and kept chugging along. I felt bad about leaving him behind, but I think he knows the rules of the game. It did, however, feel GOOD that I could run Reggie into the ground!
So I jogged along for the next 40 minutes or so, maintaining my focus on my breathing, noticing that I get passed by most runners, but not all; enjoying the nice day in the park and the variety it offers; seeing a few things I hadn't seen before; etc. Finally, after coming up a long hill, I found myself headed around a bend that seemed awfully familiar and realized I'd passed the point where Reg and I had entered the loop -- by about 70 yards. I jogged back and found the path and started to do some stretching, using the steel bases to help me stretch my Achilles. I began to wonder if I should walk back along the loop to try to find Reggie. It had taken me 66 minutes to do the six miles and I suspected Reggie would have needed to cut his run short by cutting across on 72nd. Just before I decided to go looking for Reggie, I heard his voice behind me.
On the walk back to his apartment, he was limping badly, having developed a couple blisters on the bottom of his feet. He had cut the run short and showed me on the map...I think he did almost five miles, so I'm proud of him, since I really don't think he was ready for six.
The Roadrunners website lists a couple of races coming up. Two Saturdays from now is a seven-miler and three Saturdays from now is a 10 miler. I'll have to look up what my scheduled distances are for the next few weeks and see how those might fit in to the schedule. I know I need some more practice running in large groups, as I'm getting very spoiled running by myself all the time.