Tuesday night, I ran off the touch of soreness in my legs from Sunday's negative split. The first mile was a slog as I struggled to find my rhythm, but by the second I felt like I was cruising along despite the snowflakes attacking my retinas. Yes, I was really moving now!
I could hear the unmistakable sound of an awesome pace. Foot-strike after foot-strike, the sound of satisfaction. Or at least it would have been the sound of satisfaction had those foot-strikes been mine.
I realized someone was behind me and gaining fast. I rarely see other runners on this route, so I was overrun with surprise. I flinched and looked back, with an uncomfortable pull at my right oblique, which oblique would bark for the next half mile until my regulated breathing quelled the side stitch.
"Spring will be here in 59 days," the faster runner said. "We'll believe it when we see it, right?"
The Doppler Effect was noticeable. The man passed me as if I were flatfooted.
To sprinkle a little sodium in the eye, I looked right a few painful strides later and saw a woman on the sidewalk who seemed hellbent on overtaking the man who had just passed me. I was now in third place -- that is, last place.
I picked up the pace in hopes of at least maintaining stride with the two runners, but there was no hope in catching either of them. The man kept going straight when I turned right onto Garman. The woman had made the same turn, but made another at the next street where she slowed down to walk, apparently done with her run, as I continued toward the Bastard Hill of Doom.
This was supposed to be a recovery run.
Snow Tracks, No Trax
I scouted part of my run on my drive home. The roads were wet, but relatively clear. However, the conditions changed fast. As you may have noticed in the very first paragraph, snowflakes were attacking my eyeballs -- and collecting in my beard.
The roads became mushy and slick within the first mile, but because I had deemed the roads clear enough I had not worn my YakTrax. Footing was more or less fine, but climbing Garman hill was even less fun that normal.