I was gonna go out to run today anyway, on the loop that we eventually did as well, sort of. But our lab manager didn't want to go to yoga today so she asked me if she could join me. Apparently she got new running shoes and was dying to try them out.
She picked me up from my apartment. Not that where we were going to run was very far away but she still offered. And in return I was supposed to help her move a piece of (very) heavy furniture into her place. It was heavy, but the worst part was that there was very little to hold on to as we moved it. If you are working out your fingers for rock climbing I would recommend the activity. We were both so tired afterwards, but at least it was all in the arms and not legs.
We then took a short, slow walk to the bottom of a big hill as warm-up. The plan was to start running from the bottom of the hill, run past our town's reservoir, down a road that eventually loops back to the street we were on. It was supposed to be around 5K.
Before we started my friend made me promise to run the whole way up and after, and in return she promised that the run after the big hill would be nothing compared to it. She kept her promise, I... well I cheated as usual.
The hill was... brutal. It didn't look brutal, but in reality it was. I was panting so hard and loudly and going slower and slower and right before I reached the top, I gave up. My friend was running behind me and was screaming at me to keep going. At that point we reached an intersection/driveway (I really can't remember now) and a car was there waiting to turn. We both waved for it to pass first but the driver was very nice and waited. Not wanting to delay her for too long we both jogged past the intersection. In retrospect I owed the woman driving the car everything I did today because if it wasn't for her, I would've probably walked the entire way. The motivated restart of the jog really made a world of difference. Maybe she knew that and that's why she let us pass first :P.
After the Big Hill of Death came a stretch of relatively flat but curvy road, with a bit of downhills mixed in. I mean, we just went up a whole bunch, we are bound to come down at some point. We kept jogging, and my friend was being really nice and was running my pace and only a big ahead of me. We commented on the houses on the way. She pointed out where a professor couple from our department lived, why some of the houses there had really flat roofs, and how some of the houses look really weird for residential purposes. I was panting loudly for quite a while, just listening to her ramble (she was able to talk during the climb and right afterwards, jealous). I had run and hiked with her before and really hated having a conversation with her. It involved using the brain, which never has enough oxygen at that point, and speaking, which messed up my (heavy) breathing. We didn't make a pact to keep silent this time (like we did for our last hike), but eventually when I caught my breath I started talking back, and it was wonderful. I've long read that the best pace to run at is a pace at which you can talk comfortably, and I had always regarded it as a myth. I could barely talk when I was walking fast! But for that one glorious mile we crawled along the edge of the town (scattered houses on one side, deep woods on the other), chatting, me actually telling a story or two, us commenting on the woods, the weather, and the little cabin houses we came across. It helped that the mile had lots of gradual downhills, which didn't put too much stress on my feet but made me feel that I actually could run. In actuality I was crawling at a painfully slow speed, but whatever.
Then we came to a stretch of sharper downhill that eventually led to a nearby pond that is also part of the town's recreational area. We decided to take a short break, look at the pond for a bit. My friend needed a port-a-potty break, I wanted to get some water but couldn't find a fountain or vending machine. But it was a nice break. We saw a woman bringing two very excited and hyper dogs into the tennis court to play. It was getting late (and dark) so the view was beautiful but darker than I wanted. I stretched a bit and loosened my knees. We chatted about kayaking.