I've been running with a friend a couple of days a week while I'm across the pond. She hasn't been running as consistently as I have and she runs at a slower pace and can't run as far, but I've been enjoying the company. Having trained for the entire marathon alone, it's just nice being able to run with someone and chat a bit during the jog.
Since I'm running at a 1 minute/mile slower pace and not for as long as I normally do, I've been quite conversational. I've talked about classes, traveling, pretty much whatever comes to mind. She'd respond a bit but generally they weren't long responses.
I decided to ask if the conversation was bothersome. Turns out: yepper. I'm not straining myself much with the run in speed or distance so I'm treating it more like a chat while I happen to be moving faster than normal. She's treating it (and properly so) as a run and she's out of breath.
It's a good reminder for me to be aware of the needs of my running partner and how my interaction may affect their training. We're certainly not in training, but it's important nonetheless to be sensitive to their pace and what they're looking to get out of it.
All that said, I'm quite happy that I can carry on full conversations at a 9:30/m pace for more than 4 miles. Certainly makes me feel good about the level of fitness I've achieved. Running yesterday at that pace, I felt like I could have run forever.
I ran later in the week with another friend who tends to run shorter distances at a faster pace. His first mile was around 7:45 and I was hurting a bit as we navigated through the streets to get to Lough (pictured left), a small lake in Cork. He slowed down in the subsequent miles so I was able to keep a better pace and stay with him, even besting him on the hills. I did get an idea of what my other friend was feeling though. I certainly didn't make much conversation running a 7:45 mile.