Thursday, May 11, 2017

May 10, 2017 - For Justin!

Today's run was sponsored by Justin! Thanks so much for continuing to help fund the Ty Taylor Memorial Campship Endowment. We're getting so close to fully funding the endowment, I appreciate your help! Soon, YMCA Camp Miller will be able to send a deserving camper to camp for free every year in honor of an amazing man.

Justin joined AES in August of this school year and has been a consistent running partner since. The thing you need to know about Justin, is that he's fast. And he runs far. You can check out his exploits on his blog - An Incondite Adventure. It's been good getting to know him and his wife Sarah, and the icing on the cake is that they'll be joining us in Minnesota this summer to run Grandma's and the Bjorklund with me, so the donation will personalize even more as they get a taste of Northern Minnesota and all it has to offer!

Since he is running the full, he's always looking for miles. I feel like I've been doing a good job of banking miles this training season, but I've neglected pace, speed and hills. So, when Justin started a Tuesday night text chain looking for a run, I figured it was as good of a time as any to recommit to some speed work. I promised a short, fast one and we took off at 5am.

Lately, I've been running miles that are over 9 minutes. When we left Gate 2 of the school Tuesday morning, the first thing that Justin noticed was our pace. The first mile was 8:04, but it felt even faster than that. I let him know that my plan was to run faster than normal and he pretended to feel like it was painful (but I know that he loved it). Mile two was even faster, 7:32. There was much grunting and groaning and even a "you know, we can slow down." But I refused. I had a few secrets. First, the route. I had planned a special route for Justin's run, one I'll talk about in a bit. Mile three was amazingly another negative split - 7:16. I was dying. I knew that I was going to conk soon, but my second secret kept me going. At the five mile mark, I was going to bail out and take an autorickshaw home. Mile four was finally a slow down and I had to walk. We had dropped to a 7:45 and as we started walking, Justin reached to pause his GPS. "Don't turn that off!" I yelled, potentially betraying the secret of the route. We had reached India Gate and we were making what Justin calls, "Jason Coleman lefts." I guess he thinks it's weird when I suddenly stop in front of him, or turn left at the last minute because I go the wrong way, or am about to make a wrong turn. Jeez. Anyway, as we ran from the center of the India Gate traffic circle back out and turned back in, he knew something was up. 

"The Shamrock!"

He was right, it was the run that I designed for him to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. As the officially crowned King of AES St. Patty's, he commissioned a run from me. I added it to my series of holiday runs, which I've included below. He hosted quite a fete on March 17 this year, but unfortunately, I was out of town and wasn't able to run it. The last mile and a half or the last two petals of the shamrock were significantly slower as we jumped fences, crashed through shrubs and tried our hardest to avoid standing "water" in the lawns of India Gate to complete the picture you see below.

Most of you have seen this, but if you haven't, these runs led to a feature the MapMyRun blog. Find it here -

The Run, Run Rudolph Reindeer Race
The hard work and sacrifice ...
... yield great results. Turkey Trot 2016

I, as promised bailed out as soon as the shamrock was finished. Justin ran another 5 miles home. He swears to me that he slowed down, but I don't believe him for a second.

Riding home in style

Distance: 5.55 miles
Duration: 42:18. Blistering 7:37 pace!

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