After an alomst 2 week break due to old lingering injuries and work, I decided it was time to get out there again. This was my longest break from running by far over the last 2 years. I drove over to Richard's house at about 5:45 AM this morning and joined up with Richard, Mike, James and Jay for a nice and easy run. With the Cotton Row Run 10k & 5k just around the corner, we had decided to run the course to familiarize ourselves with it again. Obviously, it's all about the hill. We found the least common denominator for our pace and settled in for that pace throughout the run.
As we were approaching the infamous Cotton Row hill, a familiar face was apporoaching us on bike from the opposite direction. Not expecting to see this person on a bike, it took me a moment to realize that it was local marathoner extraordinaire and newly christened ultramarathoner Emily Hardin, who I assume was getting in some cross training. As usual, she had nothing but kind words for us "average" runners. As we made our way up the hill, or group stretched out very quickly. James reached the top first, followed by me, Rich, Mike and Jay. Once everyone made it to the top, we regrouped quickly and finished out the final mile and a half of our run back to Richard's house. The temperatures were definitely "Cotton Row like", which is unusual this early in May, even for the South. Temps were in the 70s already and the humidity was already higher than usual as well. I am sure these are definitely early indicators of things to come.