So I decided to try and hang and train with the big dogs the last couple of mornings. We met at Valle Crucis to run the Cub at 5:30. Did I mention I'm not really much of a morning runner. Actually I'm more of a warm cup of coffee on the front porch kind of morning person. I've always been amazed at Steve's and then subsequently Shack's ability to get up that early and then work out. So I figured it was time to try and step up to the plate.
Yesterday morning was surprisingly not that terrible. I actually felt awake and energized by the beauty of the predawn in what would be a great day. We started off and I was very impressed by Shack hanging with us on a pace quicker than his usual. He was with us until about mile four and then Steve and I pulled away together on the hill. When we crested out at the cemetery and turned back to pick Dave up he was already turning onto the final hill stretch and looking pretty strong. We joined up on him and all ran the last section. Then SHACK ATTACK, Dave starts accelerating up the last hundred feet of the hill up and over the rise and into the downhill. I was in cruise hill climb mode and he totally dusted me. I had to race to catch up. We finished just under a ten minute pace as OSTAF was pulling into the parking lot. All in all a nice run to start the day with and of course the cocky thoughts began to flow. Before I could stop myself I was suggesting the same thing this morning.
All day long I was feeling that run and beginning to wonder if another was a good idea. That afternoon Amy reminded me it was supposed to be raining and nasty. Steve and I talked on the phone and avoided the very tempting cancelation to wait it out for the morning. 4:45 came way too early this morning, and the sound of water running through the rain gutters only made me want to roll back over and go back to sleep. I dragged myself out of bed and got my stuff together. The drizzle was very light and mostly just overcast. After meeting Shack and riding together through town it started to rain. But when we pulled into VC it had stopped. Steve rolled in and despite all feeling rough we headed out.
I was flagging in mile one. We started out at around a ten minute pace Shack again hanging tough. After a mile or two the pace quickened a touch but I felt slower. Again Shack was with us until the hill. This time Steve tested at the cemetery and just as we were turning around to pick him up Shack was cresting the final rise. What a monster. We regrouped and headed into the downhill together. I was beginning the final fade now. As we turned onto Broadstone and the final half mile Shack opened up a 50 yard gap on me with Steve by his side. I started to try and do a mild increase but he was still accelerating. I had to sprint to catch up to him by the Mast Store Annex with 100 feet to go and it turned into a three way foot race. We ended up finishing two minutes faster than yesterday thanks to Dave. I don't know how he does it but he is obviously built for distances greater than seven miles.