Yesterday, my daily run turned into a series of intervals on the beach. They say that doing intervals–going full speed for a few minutes and then jogging– is one of the best ways to train aerobically, but I generally just go out for a run with one steady pace. As I was leaving my house my neighbor offered to lend her dog to come on the run with me. I started off from my house walking through town with the dog. Then, after walking about 200 feet two of the little girls that live by me asked if they could come visit me. I responded, “Well, you can’t really come visit because I’m not going to be home, I’m going on a run…You can come with me though.” They responded quite enthusiastically to this idea, grabbed their bikes and off we went!
We walked through town down to the beach, and along the way picked up another child, this one a young boy on a bicycle. All 5 of us- me, the dog, the two girls, and the boy- got to the beach and then we took off. Unlike the road where I normally run, the trail down by the beach is filled with lots of large puddles. I stayed off to the side of the trail where it was dry while the kids accelerated their bicycles into the middle of the puddles. They would just ride through each puddle, spattering themselves in mud, and trying to not get stuck in the really deep muddy ones. Meanwhile, the dog would sprint off the side of the trail, check out some bushes or something and then sprint back to us, weaving in and out of the kids on bicycles.
At one point early on in the run the boy challenged me to a race, and took off at his top speed. I sprinted to catch up, leaving the other two girls pedaling quickly behind me. After a short sprint, we would realize that either the dog or the youngest girl was left behind, so I’d slow down to a unhurried jog and we would wait for everyone to get caught up. Once everyone was caught up the pattern would repeat; thus my steady state beach run turned into a interval group run. What a sight we must have been!