Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Side Stitches: Overrun

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.

14 comments:

Nitmos said...

It sounds to me like you intimidated those other runners right off your path. They were sent fleeing for cover. Go with that.

Marcy said...

Last is always better than sitting on the couch I suppose. Unless that couch has a nice drinky and a warm blanket.

Vava said...

Maybe they're just anti-beard and were scared into picking up their pace? I'm sure the guys attempt at smalltalk was a result of nervousness at the sight of a superior athlete rather than a genuine attempt at friendship. Run on, Grizzley Man!

Blyfinn said...

My guess is that they just had started and ran quick to pass you. Then turned so you could not see them slow down.

Jess said...

But what age were they? Perhaps you were first in your AG!

tfh said...

Sounds like some sort of conspiracy to me-- runners sprinting past you, then disappearing, in order to sabotage your recovery run...

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

I disagree with all of the commenter above. I think the two other runners handed you your @$$. I see no reason to pretend otherwise.

Runner 1: "Hello, Viper, here you go - here's your @$$."

Runner 2: "I believe Runner 1 neglected to hand you this cheek, without which the other is basically useless. Ta-ta!"

Other commenters may lie to you. I never will.

Roisin said...

I think I know the hill you're referring to. I may have stared at it once in a while. Definitely never attempted to run up it!

joyRuN said...

Hrmm... you let yourself get chicked.

Ted said...

When spring comes around the corner, you may pass those runners !!! Blame the snowflakes that has been attacking your retina, it may have slowed you down.

Ms. V. said...

...at least you were out there.

Xenia said...

Maybe they knew how pathetic your January mileage has been and wanted to rub your face in the fact that not only are you a slacker, but a slow one at that.

Jess said...

At least you didn't stop to walk...

Sarah said...

As I passed over the Cuyahoga River valley on the Ohio Turnpike bridge (nice view) yesterday on my way back to Michigan, I spared a moment & thought of you. Only a moment, though. Now I'm back in my cubicle, fully recovered, and ready to poke at you with sharp sticks. :)