City Running Tours Review... And Then Some...
The miles fly by. Work flies by. And when it all does, this blog just sits here. Anyway, in no particular order:
1) Office Olympics today - or at least the 1600 meter run - which is the only event (I'd argue) not 100% based on luck. Anywho, last year I won it in 5:52. This year, my goal time was 5:30. So, I had my Garmin on lap pace and chased it around the track @ 5:27-5:28. Except --- it was off by .06 miles, which meant I actually finished in 5:44. 8 seconds faster than last year. 1st place (though my buddy Dave was definitely holding back) again. Most important? VDOT says this equals a 3:08 marathon.
2) Speaking of marathon, the training's going well. Later this week is the 4th of 5 twenty milers. Last weekend was 15 @ 7:48 pace. Things seem to be spinning toward a 3:10ish.
3) Blood sugars have been behaving real well. I keep the pump on a low basal for the long runs, sip Gatorade G2, and take a gel every 5 miles. So far, so good.
4) Last week at a big tradeshow, our company sponsored a run featuring guides from City Running Tours. The concept: these guys show up, ran how far you want and how fast you want, all while pointing out the sites. When it's over, you get a City Running Tours T-shirt. The reality: Before I tell this, I must say -- Everyone had a blast and said it was wicked, wicked cool. However, that doesn't mean it went quite as advertised.
Not surprisingly, your run is very much dictated by your individual guide. My guide - and I use the term loosely - was 1 hell of a runner. A guy with long straggly hair and a long beard who announced himself by saying, "Five milers @ eight minutes a mile, get over here!" Obviously, some people were intimidated.
We stepped out the front door of the hotel and the dude rubs his hands through his mane and goes, "Ok, the map says to go that way, but that way SUCKS. Let's go this way!" He then went on to ask if anyone had a watch, since he never ran with one.
No doubt about it: this guy was a pure runner. He spent his days doing personal training and running dogs (I kid you not) and had a 25 mile day planned this particular day. And when I asked him about the uncanny resemblance to both the attitude and appearance to Fam, he said, "Who?"
Midway through the run, we discovered we'd left half of our mini-pack behind, to which the guide said, "Holy hell, we dropped those f'ers." Fortunately, they had another City Running Tours guide with them, though truth be told, he looked like he was having more trouble with the pace than any of us.
At any rate, though I think our - ahem - guide would've been glad to take us all around Chicago for more miles, I steered him back to the hotel after an easy 6.5. There we were greeted by a bunch of elated runners whom had enjoyed getting their pictures taken in front of attractions by more typical guides, using the maps of the route that our guide had told us sucked.
Again - I can't say that I got the experience I expected or was advertised, but then again, I didn't have a bad time at all. It was fun running as a group, particularly one lead by someone as individual as our Fam-lookalike. If you have a chance to do City Running Tours, do it. Just don't make it on one of your hard workout days.