I'm part of an informal running club in my town. We run on Tuesday evenings, doing a 6-mile loop through town, and on Sunday mornings, doing a loop through a nearby woodland park.
The Tuesday runs are faster than the Sunday runs. Often, one or another runner will be feeling good, and will start to push the pace a bit midway through the run. On other occasions, it will be pretty fast from the start.
This past Tuesday the pace at the start was reasonable. I chatted with one or the other runners, and at about the midway point one runner, G., started pulling away. G. is older than me, but we run at about the same level.
I was feeling good, and wanted to keep him in sight.
He slowed a bit at the top of a hill, and another runner and I caught up with him. We ran together for a bit, and then the other runner pulled off to head home. G. picked up the pace and began pulling away again.
Another runner, A., caught up with me and we chatted. G. had now opened up a sizeable gap, and I started to pick up my pace.
A. is the fastest runner in the club, and likes to compete. There was little over a mile left of our loop, and to catch G. we had to start making up some ground.
We worked together. He'd set a fast pace for a bit, and then I'd surge ahead with a fast stretch. We began to close the gap.
We crossed a street, and G. looked back and saw us. He sped up.
It was cold out, but I was sweating hard. We had less than a half-mile to go, and we were running all out. G. was going hard; A. was on his tail, but couldn't catch him, and I was running fast, but couldn't stay with A.
G. finished first, A., second, and I came in, breathing hard, just after. On A.'s watch, we'd run the last mile in under 6 minutes. We shook hands.
The sun is now gaining some strength, and the weekend before last we visited the castle ruins in our town. My son and daughter enjoyed running through the various passageways, and sun made the stone walls seem warm. My son couldn't resist peering over the walls at the rooms below.