Herd Mentality

Distance: 12 mi (2 runs)

Miles to go: 1517

Between teaching classes, the boy’s first MLB game (Cardinals v. Marlins) and putting hardwood flooring on my stairs… the week was busy but not too fruitful for mileage.  But… such is life.

Thursday of last week the remains of hurricane Gustav took a dump on us so that run was scratched due to monsoonal downpours (yeah… I wimped out) and the Saturday run was scratched due to not getting home until 1am (hard to make that 5:30 start but… yes, I wimped out… AGAIN).  I did manage to make up 6 miles of that run on Sunday with the boy in tow on his bike.  It was fun but left me feeling stiff and sore and that, combined with crawling around on my stairs for two days, was an ugly combination.  Pulls, strains, aches, stiffness…  I’m getting too old for this…  I’m bitching like my grandpa…

I was even worried about it last night when I went to bed but, as usual, I was able to answer the bell and be at the trailhead.  I tested the cogs and gears before the group started and, besides a grumpy achilles (nagging little injury) I actually felt pretty good.  It’s amazing how much better I run in the cool (46 degrees this morning… W00T!!!) than the heat.  I really felt good, even going up a hill that usually thumps me.  I had fuel in the tank all the way through the run and ran negative splits, with my last mile being a 7:44!!  Granted, it was a wind and HUGE downhill aided 7:44… but it was the last mile of a 6 mile run… Not bad for an old, fat guy!

I can’t say enough about the motivation of running with a group.  I run 4 times a week now and all 4 of them are group runs.  I didn’t even realize this until this morning.  I guess I just never thought about it.  I used to love running alone.  I used to think that I WANTED the solitude and quiet.  Now I really don’t like it.  Every once in a while is OK, but for the most part I need the group.  Now, granted, 90% of them don’t even know my name and seldom see me unless they look back or it’s an out and back course.  But the point is not that I want the group to socialize with.  I need them for motivation… and more importantly, they are kind of a security blanket for me.  I feel better running with a group right now…  And I really have no idea why…

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