Monday, December 04, 2006
Forgot to post these earlier - two photos of me in the Marine Corps Marathon back in October.
Getting fat and lazy: No run today. And no long run this past weekend. Not good for one racing the Blue & Gray Half-Marathon this Sunday.
But I feel the need to take it easy for a bit. After a week of no running after the Oct. 31 Marine Corps Marathon, I started training again, albeit half-heartedly, for the upcoming half-mary.
Head games: My last long run was a week ago this past Saturday, a 15-miler. In the last 5 miles, a 30-something, fit 6'3" man with lean and muscular legs and wearing an Army 10-Miler shirt came up next to me. We said hello, then he surged and eased ahead.
About 20 yards ahead, he stopped his surge and steadied his pace. And so I gradually ran past him, nodding "hello" again and smiling. Then I heard him quicken his pace.
He was running right behind me, using me to draft him. Huh! His footfalls landed heavily right behind my own. I felt he was about to clip my heels. Distracting, to say the least. But I wasn't going to slow down.
Or stop. If he wanted to pass me, he'd have to run faster. I kept to the right in case he wanted to. He didn't. I checked my Garmin. Our pace was 8:57/mile. Not fast. But by this time, I was close to bonking. I had run out of water (stupidly going out with only a half-full water bottle) and I forgot to bring any GU with me. Plus, I had already run 10 miles, and had run a hilly 5-miler the day before.
I didn't try to outkick him. After all, I had 5 more miles to run. But I gradually ran a little faster, bringing our pace down to 8:45/mile. When I flew down the hills, so did he. When I ran up the hills, he followed close behind. We ran 3 miles this way. I was a little peeved. Was he trying to psych me out? Did he not realize how close he was running to me ?
Free at last: We came to a fork in the road. Only two more miles to go. I headed to the right, bracing myself for the last hill, where I was going to try to drop him. But to my surprise, he ran to the left. Smiling and waving, he called out, "Good running!" and disappeared from sight.