Friday night I thought about skipping my Saturday morning 9-miler. Due to what I think is allergies, I had a scratchy throat and some post-nasal something-or-other. So I put out the call on Facebook for running buddies.
Mel had already invited several of us to her running group, but I needed to get my run finished earlier and with the drive and the start-time being later it didn’t work out. But no takers on Facebook either, which meant I’d be on my own.
Instead, I took the thoughts about skipping my long run and twisted them around.
Mr. T and I had a date night planned for Saturday night. Dinner at Maggiano’s and then the KHPB concert. The restaurant has this awesome dish called Rigatoni “D,” and I really wanted to be able to order it. So the run was on. All just so I could eat and drink what I wanted 11 hours later. (I was sad at dinner when I got full faster than I thought I would.) The second thing I did was pretend I felt great.
And, yeah, I felt (and looked) less than stellar when I crawled out of bed at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, but a couple miles into my run, I felt just fine.
I did another out and back x2 on the Cedar River Trail. I went 2.5 miles out (slightly downhill) and 2.5 back (slightly uphill) to the car to drink and GU, then out 2 and back 2 for a total of 9. It was nice not to wear my fuel belt. But I wished I had a buddy.
I was almost back at the car on my first out-and-back when I passed a sketchy dude, strolling along the trail, wearing a grungy backpack and leisurely smoking a cigarette. He was probably harmless, but he did seem to be out of place. I made sure to look him in the face and say “hello” so he knew that I see you; I could describe you to a sketch artist or pick you out in a lineup. He said a genuine, “Good morning.”
Oh man. I’m such a jerk.
There was a whole bunch of runners and bikers just beyond him, and I was jealous that they weren’t running alone. Back at the car, I drank, GU’d and put on some more Burt’s Bees. Then I was off for another out and back.
At about a mile, I saw the sketchy dude up ahead. I kept hoping some other people would approach from the other direction. But no. As I got closer I knew I’d be passing him alone. I was conflicted. I considered turning around and doing a mile out-and-back twice to get to nine miles, but that just seemed a little obvious. I considered simply turning around and going home. I knew I’d regret that. Besides, the dude is probably perfectly harmless.
Instead, I took out my phone out of my shirt pocket and held it. As I approached the man, I opened it up and and pretended to text. I know, lame, but I felt it was better than nothing. I glanced at my watch and an 8:23 pace surprised me. “Good morning again,” I called out as I hauled a$$ and fake texted Mr. T.
Obviously, I can’t hold an 8:23 pace very long, but that mile ended up being a 9:33 average pace. Dude! If only race organizers could strategically place sketchy looking dudes along the race route.
3/27/10 – 9.08 Miles – 1:33:13
Average pace: 10:15
Mile 1: 10:25
Mile 2: 10:22
Mile 3: 10:42
Mile 4: 11:04
Mile 5: 10:17
Mile 6: 10:12
Mile 7: 9:33 (passing the sketchy dude)
Mile 8: 10:04
Mile 9: 9:46 (parking lot in sight)