I was reading a letter to the editor today in Runner’s World concerning what the rules were for training with a partner, more regarding if it is ever ok to leave them behind. I train with a partner all the time, and there have been times where she was “feeling it” and I felt I was holding back her training effort so I would tell her to go ahead and move without me (this was especially the case when we first started, especially in the bike, but even in the run training). It is not as much of an issue anymore, as I have caught up to her for the most part (we both have our “on” days and “off” days but we work through them, usually together. I find it much more enjoyable to run, or bike, with someone than to go it alone, but I will admit that there was some satisfaction last Sunday when she asked to sprint the last 1/2 mile on the bike to the stop point at trails head, as she usually does, but I kept up with her this time. It means I have gotten much better and have a little bit of a kick now that I didn’t have before. On the run it’s different, because we usually go back and forth with the days we are feeling good, but the norm is that we stay together, even if it means when we ht the walk portion, the one ahead (usually her) walks back toward the one behind (usually me). Still, the fact that we finish training together is cool, even if it messes with our individual pace marks. It makes for a more fun training, and I’d rather have that then 10:00 miles any day.
On races it is different of course, because we are competing (with ourselves more than the pack). I never want her to hold back for me in a race. She has come so far, running with a knee brace to help her now because she eventually will need a knee replacement (probably this winter). The fact that she run, or bikes, at all is a minor miracle and is a testament to her will power and her strength. She was one spot away, 10:00, from placing in her group at Madeira Triathlon … so close … and I have NO doubt she will place very soon. A true inspiration.