It's been unseasonably warm for January with temperatures in the mid-to-high forties. This is great winter weather for runners. Marathon Girl has been taking full advantage of the weather lately and improving her running time. She came back from a run Saturday afternoon out of breath but excited. "I just ran four miles at 7:30 per mile," she said and sat on the floor exhausted.
I congratulated Marathon Girl on her time then started thinking about my running. I realized I haven't timed one of my four mile runs in months. So this morning when I dressed for my run, I made sure to wear my watch so I could time myself.
I pushed myself hard during the run. I wanted to have a nice time to show Marathon Girl. Four miles later, my side aching, I finished the run and walked slowly up the sidewalk toward home. Once inside I looked at my watch. My time: 33:15 (about 8:18 per mile).
When did I start running so slow?
Granted, I don't run every morning anymore (I lift weights three days a week and run three days a week) and without a race to train for, I don't have much of an incentive to run somewhere in the neighborhood of 7:00 minute miles. But 8:18 feels really slow especially when Marathon Girl (who had a baby three months ago) is already running much faster.
I think Marathon Girl just gave me plenty of incentive to pick up the pace.