Sucking Air: That was me at 8: 35 a.m. on Saturday, half-way through my run with my advanced 10K running group up and down hills on icy trails. Only two people out of the eight in our group showed up - me and the Army Reserves guy, looking disturbingly hale and healthy. The others were either out of town or sick.
So it was just us and our two coaches. Nowhere to hide. We ran about 6 miles at an 8:15 pace. The hills killed me. They seemed incredibly long and steep. I had to stop twice to walk for 30 seconds because I got so winded. The guys went on ahead and the female coach, E. (who's run the Boston marathon), sympathetically stayed with me and told me to pump my arms to better power up the hills.
No more Friday happy hours: Of course, it didn't help that I had two sangrias the previous night and only 5 hours of sleep. I guess it's hot tea and early to bed on Fridays for awhile.
But today was a different story. My friend, A., and I ran 4 miles at an easy 10-minute pace. We ran on part of the same trail I ran Saturday. But the hills didn't seem half so daunting this time. That extra 1:45 a mile makes a huge difference.
At the end, I could have run another 4-6 miles at that pace, but A. was a bit tuckered out (I'm not the only lush - she had a couple of drinks last night). So instead, we went to a deli around the corner and split a brie-cucumber-tomato-red onion sun-dried tomato wrap. Yum.
It was so good that for a split-second I considered going vegeterian. I stopped in mid-chew and thought of tangy North Carolina barbecue, seared scallop sushi, Hawaiian kalau pig, steak tartare, and roast chicken.
"Naahh," I thought, coming to my senses.