Last night as I was methodically laying out all my running gear for this morning, I got this reaction from Hubs: “ You’re not really going to run tomorrow morning, are you?”
Me: Ummmm…..YEAH. (rolling eyeballs in disbelief that he would even insinuate that I might miss a long run!!)
I may have not been the best decision I’ve made in a while, but certainly not the worst either ;) I was feeling better – although not 100% yet. But I wasn’t going to miss another run.
The thermometer on my car was promising ~ 74 degrees ~ the best starting temperature we’ve had in a long time. Yes, it is already that warm in the dark at 6am. But for us, that is a real TREAT.
Our Tumbleweed Running Club exploded this week with the addition of several new runners! And can you guess….of course, they were all female. Yep, Pat remains the lone male of the group….today accompanied by FIVE other women. Other men on the canal must either envy or pity him ~ not sure exactly which! Luckily today there were no ramblings about female issues, crotch sweat or irritating husbands….just general banter about running and life.
The first portion of the run felt pretty good in general. I could tell early on that my breathing was going to be an issue. I had soooo much nastiness in my throat from being sick all week, that it really made it difficult to get my breathing under control. Then, combined with the fact that I ramble way too much on group runs (note to self: talk less, run more) it went downhill pretty fast. At the turn around point at just under 3 miles, it really hit me.
I made it to about mile 4 before I had to fall back a bit. We were running in two groups: three of us up front, the other 3 a little ways back. My intention was to fall back and join the other group, when I got attacked.
I was LITERALLY hit in the back of the head by the biggest BUMBLEBEE I have ever seen. You know, the huge black/blue ones that look like small aircraft? It hit the back of my pony tail, and then continued to swarm around my head. I tried dodging it, but it wouldn’t give up. So I did what any runner along the canal would do: I RAN.
I would run a bit ahead, and stop to catch my breath…..and then there it was – back in my hair!!! I must have smelled so good that it just couldn’t resist chasing me. Or, my all black running outfit may have made me look like the Queen Bumblebee….I’m just not sure.
So this thing won’t give up on catching me, so it was time to seek help. So I yell for Pat ~ who is not too far ahead of me ~ that I am being chased. And what do you suppose my running buddy does?
He laughs…and then goes on to yell back a story about how in the wild, bumblebees chase, and I quote – “the weakest wildebeast” – from the pack in order to attack it for food once it separates from the group. While still dodging the bee, I yell back to him that he’s full of crap and that it’s LIONS that chase wildebeast, and not bees. Oh, and by the way ~ did he just call me a weak wildebeast? Yes, he did. See what I tell ya ~ good running buddies are hard to find. I’ll have to take this issue up with Pat again on a future run ;)
So I ditch the bee finally~ but it didn’t help my running. I somehow made it to the 6 mile point where the group was going to stop. Pat and I had planned to run a couple more miles at the park to hit our 8 miles, which I still opted to attempt even after the lousy six miles.
So we ran about a mile around the park, and then it was time to let Pat move on. My breathing still hurt, my side hurt, my legs were tired ~ and although I didn’t mention it to Pat (I figured I had whined enough already) I had the slightest twinge of a cramp in my left calf muscle. So Pat went on and I planned to walk around the park back to my car.
So I walked a bit, stopped and stretched my calves, and felt marginally good enough to pick up the pace just a bit. So I reverted back to the old days and the Pokey Shuffle. There really isn’t a more accurate way to describe this ~ it’s really just a shuffle. Slightly faster than a walk, but definitely not a run. Not even a jog. But it got me through, and I shuffled around the park until I hit my 8 miles. I am getting more number-stubborn every day apparently ~ there was no way I wanted to come up short today. The splits ended up being pretty decent for the majority of the run ~ actually faster than last week. Not sure how that happened, but I’ll take it.
I still feel pretty decent, although my throat is a little more sore this afternoon ~ almost certainly from all the huffing and puffing this morning. In retrospect, it may not have been the smartest move to attempt so many miles today after a week of the sickies…..but you know, I’ve never claimed to be the smartest runner out there.
So the TRC is back in full action, with a great group for fall training! All six of us from today, plus Lisa and Eileen will all be running the RNR Half Marathon in January. I’m completely sad that I won’t be able to run with the group next weekend since we’re gone for fall break, but I’m looking forward to the coming weeks and more great miles!
And looking forward to settling up with Pat for the wildebeast comment….