Was this a trick? I wondered. Was Martini secretly reading my blog and now wanting to put me in my place?
We met at Sand Run. Martini's nine-miler was an eight-miler for me. He lives just a half-mile from the path, whereas I'm about two miles away. I mean, I could -- and have -- run there too, but it would throw off our schedule.
I knew I was in trouble during that first mile. I was concentrating on my form and trying to match Martini's speed. I didn't even have a chance to look at the split, just pressed the button and kept going. It was 7:53.
The temperature was in the upper 70s and the forecast had called for thunderstorms all afternoon, but those never arrived. The resulting humidity pressed down on me like a mid-August run. I felt overheated.
By the time we reached our turnaround point, my feet were starting to blister in my shoes, I was slouching and barely keeping up. At the six-mile mark I'd had enough. "I'm going to leave you here," I told Martini. "I need to regroup."
We'd only averaged 9:34 per mile. I was wrecked.
I was concentrating too hard on keeping up with Martini that I had let me form slip. My back hurt from slouching. My feet hurt from the blisters. I walked a little. Ran a little. I had two more miles to get back to my car. I had no choice.
At the next bench, I sat down and removed my shoes. Sand Run is a crushed limestone path with lots of twigs and pebbles to step on. It was hard to relax and be smooth. I was tired, carrying my shoes was not making it easier. I covered the last two miles in 24:27. My back and shoulders were almost as tired as my legs afterward. Looks like I need to get back to my core exercises.
Martini crushed me last night. Then he went out for another hourlong run this morning just to rub it in. It turns out that he'd been running two-a-days all week. His mileage and pace have been far better than mine over the past few months. He told me that he has already logged a 60-mile week this year. I have a-ways to go before I can challenge him in a footrace.
You may have beaten my this time, Martini. But I'll be back. I'll get you next time!
Wherein, wait, did you say something?
Blogless David says I should have faith in my
Answer: Yeah, I know. I already said that. As for opening my stride? I don't think so. Short, fast steps are the keys to victory. Turnover, turnover, turnover! Long strides = death! Or runner's knee.
Happy Hour is nearly upon us teammates. Have a finely brewed weekend. Good luck to everyone running the Cleveland Marathon. Don't fail like the Cavs. Run well and drink well. Cheers!