The Higdon Marathon Novice 2 plan which I'm kinda following right now calls for an 8 mile run. I checked my running log to see what 8 mile routes I had...and there were none. Huh? I made it through 18 weeks of marathon training without having an 8 mile run (I guess some of them may have been on the track as speedwork or something...). I had a few in the 7 mile range and a 9 miler - but no 8's.
I looked at the Fallgrove "figure 8" route that I ran about a month ago. It's 10.5 miles long, but takes a roundabout way to get back into the neighborhood. I re-did the route taking the shortest path home and it ended up being 8.8 miles. It's almost a 9 miler, but I decided to go with it for this morning.
It was a nice run - but uneventful. My HR was a bit elevated - most likely due to the cold temps and me pushing a bit harder at the beginning to warm up. I ended up at an 11:03/mile pace with an average HR of 158. 1:37:06 of morning bliss!
One thing that I was contemplating on my run was a question from Marcy's Blog - "What 3 bloggers would you most like to run with?". It's not a very intriguing question, right? However, it did get me thinking. You see, I mainly run alone. In 2008, I was able to think of only three people who I ran with - and each time it was once: my wife, my sister and my 6 year old son. I guess there were times during the Frederick Marathon where I talked with other runners for a mile here or half a mile there, but I didn't run the race with anyone in particular. Out of the 970 miles that I ran in 2008 - around 965 of them were solo.
So of course I was wondering if I should try and run with someone else one of these days - either every once in a while or on a regular basis. There are a few problems - first of all, I'm a slow runner. I'd likely have to match up when I'm doing a tempo run when my running partner is doing a long slow run. Secondly is scheduling - I normally leave about enough time to slip out of the house and go for my run, not scheduling in time to meet up with someone and wait, go for coffee or gatorade afterwards, etc. Lastly is that I actually like the solitude. With life being so noisy and hectic - work, two boys under the age of 7, etc. - I love the break and to be able to listen to some tunes without someone interrupting me every two minutes.
However, 965 out of 970 miles alone in 2008 seemed a bit too anti-social. So, I'll definitely try to work in some "social runs" in 2009.