I arrived at the park entrance a little before 8. I was following a small black suv that quickly pulled over on the side of the driveway. I thought it was ER so I stopped next to him with a big dumb smile on my face thinking of how I might annoy him only to realize it was a complete stranger. I awkwardly waved and kept going. Once I parked, I decided I might have just enough time to squeeze in another 2.6 miles to make it an even 11. I ran 1.8 miles north on the bike path. I called ER to see where he was. He was already at the parking lot. I told him where I was and suggested he and TPP start and I'll meet them on the way back. I saw them at my ten mile mark. We decided to go back north for the rest of our run.
As usual, TPP took the lead. ER was lagging a little, but not much. Once I tried making conversation with him and saw he was having difficulty responding, I knew he was having a tough time. I felt badly because he has some respiratory issues. Before I knew it, we were almost at our turn around. ER wanted to stop, but I couldn't let him. We were just 2/10s of a mile away from our intended goal. He was a trooper and pushed on. We stopped briefly for a chat. We realized it wasn't normal for ER to be struggling at such an easy pace so early on. We think it's possible he could have some form of cold induced asthma. He had spent most of the winter running indoors. His lungs were not adjusting properly.
On our return, TPP and I ran ahead. It was an easy end to an additional 5 miles (6 for them). I was 2 miles short of my scheduled 17, but it was well worth it to spend quality time with friends.
"Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - A. Camus (Does this apply to group runs, too?)
Shalane, Deena, & Jazzy Jeff Gallowhat?