Sunday, October 23, 2005

Better Late Than Never

Me, finishing the last training run before the Army 10-miler. Hain's Point, Washington, D.C. Late September, 2005. If you peer closely, you can see the Washington Monument behind me. Photo credit: P.

Hello, Stranger: Well. I'm not sure what to say at this point about not posting for more than week - other than to say that I feel extremely sheepish. But friends, I have been constantly thinking about blogging. Life off the 'Net just keeps beckoning.

But what is important is that I have kept running. Take today, for instance (and for those of you still waiting for a debriefing of the Oct. 15 Baltimore Marathon Relay, hang on, it is coming).

I ran 15 miles this morning. I didn't mean to. It just happened. I planned to run only 13.1 miles with P., a new running buddy. I've only run 13 miles once before in my life - about a year ago, when I thought I was going to run the Las Vegas Half-Marathon.

The furthest I've run recently was the Army 11.3-miler (but I meant only to run 10) several weeks ago. So I was skeptical on whether I could keep up with P., who recently ran a hilly metric trail marathon (16+ miles) with an average 8:30/mile pace.

But damn it, I was going to try.

It was a fine October morning. Crisp air, blue skies, and the leaves finally starting to turn here in the Mid-Atlantic. P. and I ran down the Mt. Vernon trail, which borders the Potomac.
The day was bright and the sun glittered off the river.

We started at Belle Haven Marina. I'm guestimating that we set off at a 9:15/mile pace. He and chatted, or rather, I gave a long monologue and he interjected questions every once in a while. At around mile 6, I said, "So, where's the turnaround?"

P. replied, "It' s just up a little ways."

Me, feeling perky despite not having breakfast and loving the sunny day: "Mm, okay."

Is 15 the new 13.1?: Well, P. tricked me. That wily so-and-so. Did I mention he was a lawyer? We ran 7.5 miles - all the way to Mt. Vernon, for God's sake, before turning back. For a total of 15
rolling miles with several hills in the middle and a killer one at the end. Luckily, he brought enough GU for the both of us, and we stopped at the midway point for a minute to eat it (banana flavor) and gulp some water.

We slowed a bit between miles 8 and 13, then sped up for the last 2.5 miles for about an 8:30 pace. By this time my hamstrings were burning, and my right knee ached just a little, as I was running on a slanted surface ( the trail canted downward on the right).

As you may know from previous races, I tend to swear a like a sailor when a run starts to really get tough. Heroically, I managed NOT to cuss in front of P.

For the first 14 miles. With a little over a mile to go, I was feeling tired and really, really wanted to stop running. I didn't quit, but I did say, quietly, though somewhat exasperatedly, "Fu**k."

P. looked at me. "Excuse me," I said, having the grace to feel slightly chagrined. "Sorry."

He just kept running.

At the end, my legs felt as stiff as two sticks of firewood. But otherwise, I felt fine (ahem). Actually, I did feel all right after a drink of water and a minute or so of stretching. And I was ecstatic that we ran the 15. It took us about 2:20, or about a 9:20/mile avg pace.

He kept joking that after the 15, then we'd do another mile at a sprint. Ha. Though if P. had done that, I most likely would have followed. Not that I'm competitive, or anything.

23rd post, 5th sentence: A bit tardy, but per David's request, here 'tis (in red): From July 3, 2004
"When did Mary Stuart Masterson get breasts?!! She's both sinewy and voluptuous in the Kennedy Center's rendition of the modern classic play, "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" by Tennessee Williams.

"The gamine actress, memorable as the tough-but-tender tomboy, Watts, in the 80's film "Some Kind of Wonderful" ... vamps it up as the sultry, sexually-frustrated girly-girl Maggie - a character Elizabeth Taylor memorably seared onto celluloid in the 1958 screen version of "Cat."

"Masterson's Maggie has a muscular feline grace. When she turns and slinks to the back of the stage, the muscles on her back undulate and ripple underneath the thin slip she wears through most of the play."

Damn slideshow: I apologize once again for the slideshow NOT going through on your e-mail. If you still want a copy, I will MAIL one to you. But you've got to give me your mailing address.

Don't worry, I won't stalk you. Or worse - make you run with me.


  1. I drove that road two weeks ago, taking the long way up to the airport.I kept thinking it would be a great run--beautiful views! Congratulations on the distance.

  2. Great job on the 15-miles, Bex. That's a very nice pace too! Running with someone must stir the race instinct in you or something. Makes you push a little harder.

    Had to grin at you swearing. :)

  3. Oh, and if the slide show is working, can you email me a copy?

  4. Now that's the kind of story I like. Plan on a personally challenging 13.1 and going another two on top of it without dying. That's wonderful. Good for you. I'd have enjoyed being with you both and to repeat for P. exactly what you muttered when it was going a little wonky.