As some of you may know (even though I am writing less these days) I am training for a marathon. My fifth, actually. Saturday I ran a lovely long run of 18 miles. It was the most satisfying 18 miles I have ever experienced and the effortless feel of it surprised me. In fact, I ran that 18 twenty whole minutes faster than the last time I ran 18. Wild.
I’m a runner, regardless of my speed, or lack thereof. Running makes me happy, calms my mind and puts a peace in my heart like nothing else….. Okay, wait. That’s a lie. Hawaii is also capable of producing the same effects, but this is about running.
This morning was my first run since the 18. Its a back off week. The training plan says 5-5-5-8-13. So at a little after 4 this morning I started running. I could tell I’d be a little slower today for whatever reason, not enough sleep, poor night before nutrition, who knows, but if you run regularly you can probably tell when you start out, definitely by the time you reach 1 mile, what kind of run its going to be. This morning’s prediction was “on the slow side.”
I was pretty right about it. My legs seemed to feel heavier as I went on. I maintained my 10:30 pace throughout. Right after the Garmin buzzed to let me know I’d done 4 miles my route had me coming back out on to a pretty main road that’s busy at any time other than 4:45 a.m.
If you were to ask me I would tell you I’m not competitive….at all. Except maybe when I’m playing Words with Friends with Blue Eyes and finally I’m kicking his ass instead of the other way around… THEN something happens and all of a sudden I’m all about the competition. But with running? Nah… I’m not competitive.
If you had asked me this morning, when my Garmin buzzed four miles, if I could run faster for that last mile I would have likely said “seriously? I’m about ready to walk for a minute.”
When I approached the previously mentioned busy street however, I saw another runner. That’s not common at 4:45. I usually don’t see other runners until after 5, and on the weekends its after 6 (because yes, I still get up and run at 4 a.m. on the weekends). So, there he was. Dude runner with long ass legs running down the middle of the street, going the same direction I was going to go and something just happened.
First I was all pissed. Dammit to hell if someone wasn’t ruining my Zen of running on empty streets and he had the audacity to run down the middle of the street, like I had planned to do because that’s what running so early affords you. Then I saw him look and acknowledge my presence, and possibly register the same irritation at my interruption of his Zen and then he ran faster up the freaking hill I had told myself just two tenths of a mile earlier I would walk up.
Screw that. I lost my mind and made myself stay close enough to let him know I was still there and I felt him punch it up a notch. And so did I.
My internal conversation had a lot of swearing in it, but I like to swear so that wasn’t alarming. What was alarming was that I kept going, despite the pain. And there was pain. He turned right three quarters of a mile after we started that and if we had both just stopped my foot could have kicked him in the ass. That’s how close I was to him. I continued that pace until I hit my five miles.
I looked at my Garmin to see I had run my last mile at 7:40. WTF?! Who knew that was even possible for me. I am NOT RunnerGirl and I had just run 4 slow tired ass miles. Baffles my brain.
Here’s hoping I don’t see him tomorrow…. Ha ha ha