Today when my sister got home from work, we decided to spend our 30 minute conditioning run doing hill work. There's a park in our neighbourhood that has what is known as 'the dog bowl'. It's a sunken area in the middle of the park which is used as an off-leash area - one of Scooter's favourite places.
Now when I say 'sunken', I mean for realzies. It looks like a little dried out glacier lake, or pit. So it seemed like a good place to go for a quick hill workout.
We warmed up on the way to the park, and then did a quick lap of the park's paved "track" so I could measure it's distance with my Garmin (about a quarter mile). We plan to run our Magic Miles there when they come up in the training - but it'll have to be during daylight because, WOW. That is one rough track.
We jogged our way over to the dog bowl, and chose our slope. We picked the north end and did our first run up. I thought I was pushing, I really did. But as I was walking back down, THEY arrived. A couple, also doing hill work on the north slope. And they were FAST.
Without even speaking to each other, we had a traffic pattern set up so we wouldn't be in each other's way as we made our way up and down and up and down that hill.
Suddenly, I realized that I had more pep in my step, and more push in my tush. It was as though watching them be fast made me faster, too. I can't say whether it was me just subconsciously trying to keep up, or if I just didn't want to seem like the out of shape blob that I feel like, but either way the result was the same. I went harder and faster thanks to that couple.
Are you motivated by other runners when you're putting in your miles?