Gas left in the tank

Distance: 10 mi (two runs)

Miles to go: 1583

I got back into town yesterday afternoon after a week of travel around the state to do training with teachers before their school year starts.  I had decided to take an easy week and only run a couple of times (difficult when the hotel we stayed at in Kansas City had an 8 mile trail right out the back door… GAH!!).  The result was that I only ran once last week, which, in my condition, meant some good rest for my aches and pains, but also meant that I was sure to be sore when I started back up again.

In the end I got happy feet and just had to run yesterday so the family agreed to drop me off at a spot where I could run to a trail and then follow it down to meet them at a park that it went by.  The spectacular weather we have been having of late more than made up for the fact that my lungs felt like hooey.  Seventy degrees and light wind/humidity.  Yummy…  Slow mile times but no worries.  I’m not training for anything.  Just running.

That run was about 3.7 miles.  When I got home last night a quick check of email revealed that the route for the group run this morning was, of course, one of our toughest. Six miles with two NASTY hills.  Not long… just steep little calf killers.  With joyful bit of news I was regretting my decision to run just 12 hours before this announced death march… sigh…

Fortunately the running gods smiled on me this morning.  The first hill is about a mile into the run.  I caught up with a group I used to run with and realized that we were chatting about half way up this first hill.  Don’t get me wrong, by the time I got to the top I was still wheezing but I still had gas in the tank to stay with them until my turn off (I have decided to stop teasing myself with long milages and just run short for a while).  Past the turn I was alone running through the early morning neighborhoods of central Columbia.  Past bleary eyed homeowners taking out the garbage and bleary eyed dogs to baffled by my presence to even bark at me.  This route is convoluted and I inevitably get lost so I just accepted my few wrong turns and kept going until I saw the second of the hills on this route, dubbed “the wall”.  It’s only about 150 yards long but it is at about a 17-19% grade (no, I’m not exaggerating) and has the runner up on their toes the entire time.  I have decided to change the name of this hill to “godthathurt”….  Whaddya think?

After collecting my lungs at the top of the hill and cramming them back in my chest, I once again realized that I still had gas left in the tank so I dropped a gear and put in an 8 minute last mile (gravity aided… it’s all downhill…).  It was nice to finish any run, especially this one, and not feel like I had been pummeled about the hips and legs.  I could actually get up into my truck without the usual “grimace and grunt” that accompanies a run of this difficulty/effort.

I refuse to make speculations or predictions from now on.  Let’s just say it was a good run.


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