It should have been a recovery run. I should have taken this easy after running a 50k last weekend. I had been resting all week and taking care of a little soreness in my foot. If I had just ran alone with my thoughts…
…I would have never known I could have done more.
You see – I don’t generally push myself. Seriously – I creep towards goals. It takes me a long slow time to achieve them. I also have goals that can be “achieved” at a variety of levels. Only last year, after five marathons, did I set an actual time goal for my 6th. Prior to that my goal was always to “run a marathon”. “Finishing a marathon” and “qualifying for Boston” are two entirely different things and as you may know I opted for something much easier than qualifying for Boston.
At any rate – I ran this 13.1 with Michael – who is not like me. He likes to push – and it’s earned him national ranking at the 70.3 distance in triathlon in his age group (AG). Fortunately, after the first 8 miles we switched from the indoor track, where I had been pushing to keep up with him, to the treadmills allowing me to follow my more natural level of effort. (aka – not too hard).
The Pip Moyer rec center in Annapolis is a nice facility. If you live in the area and haven’t checked it out you should give it a shot. Drop in rate is $10 for the day. There is a 1/8 mile indoor track, cardio room and weights as well as three full sized basketball courts and probably a few things I missed.
13.1 Miles. 1:59:40.
We ran the first 8 miles on the 1/8th mile indoor track. That’s 64 NASCAR (left turn only) laps. I like the small laps. Counting becomes an activity and it’s easier for me to regulate pace than on a larger outdoor track. I won’t mention that there was a dude speed walking on the track. Ok, I’ll mention that, but I WON’T mention that he passed us! My mind drifted … “What aspects of body mechanics make that possible.. is running as good for you or is it bad for you… does it even matter?. How does that guy walk so fast? Could I do that? Would I? Oh crap – was that six laps or seven?”
Downside of all those left turns is that the outside of our left feet were feeling hot so we decided to bring it into the cardio room to the treadmills.
5 miles to go. I started out at the same pace we were clocking on the track. That lasted almost a mile but my foot started reminding me that it was still tender from last week so I started to back off. Firs the speed, then I started a cycle of .5 miles at speed followed by .25 miles faster and .25 miles faster yet followed finally by a minute or so of walking. That got me to the finish – just under 2 hours. I’ll take it.
Of course Michael finished quite a few minutes before me. I wonder if I have it in me to push that hard. I want to be faster – but I *am* faster. Faster than I am when I’m on the couch.
My road to being faster will be a slow one. One that involves strength and flexibility training – which I have been slacking on these past 6 months – to go a long with more runs with friends like Michael.
Next Week: NCR Trail Half Marathon