Today was one of those great days where everything just seamlessly flowed from one thing to the next on my to do list.
My original plan for today was to do a long run from Lowell, mixing in the Fudgcicle 5K in the middle, and then head down to Reno's place in Dorchester to help him move. After that was the USATF-NE banquet in Stoneham.
Run plans got a little sidetracked late in the week, but I managed to salvage it with a last minute substitute long run in Lowell with Lindsay Willard.
There are long runs, and then there are long runs with Lindsay.
Lindsay was looking to do 18 "mellow" miles after cranking out back-to-back weekends of sub-7 17+ milers. I wasn't complaining, since I had just come off of two marathons in the prior week, one of them a sub-3 all the way down in the deep south of Mississippi.
I suggested the Baystate Marathon course for our run, since it's relatively fast and easy to maintain a steady pace throughout.
We met up in downtown Lowell at the GLRR office a little after 8AM, and the weather was pretty much perfect for going long. Cool and foggy, or as Reno would say in his Scottish tongue, haar.
Our first 3 miles were in the 7 minute range, and I naively thought that this might actually be a mellow run after all. I had texted Sully the day before to see if he wanted to join us, and told him that we were going to run a steady 7 minute pace throughout. Even I had to laugh at that.
Right on cue, all hell broke loose for the next 15 miles.
We were still chit-chatting the entire time, but before I knew it, every single mile was faster than the previous. Lindsay's form and outward appearance made it look effortless. That's the way she rolls.
Lindsay wasn't fooling around anymore by the time we hit mile 15. She dropped the hammer and unleashed a flurry of splits that left me reeling.
My legs, even when fresh, wouldn't have been able to turn over fast enough to keep up with her. I fell back by about 5 seconds over the final mile of the run.
Her final mile? 5:52.
We both averaged in the low 6:40's for the 18 miles. If this is mellow, then I can't wait to start to really crank out some Boston training runs with her.
Lindsay pretty much pulled me along for the entire run, and didn't give me a chance to give in. She kept me on life support just enough to see me through to the finish. And this, I thank you.
This. This is one of the many reasons why Lindsay Willard deserves to be the newly minted USATF-NE co-female athlete of the year.