A ferocious storm swept through the Akron area last night and soaked the ground and cast debris about the landscape. The storm was still lurking this morning when I went for a five-mile tempo run.
As I mentioned last week, morning runs are tough for me. This one was especially bad. My body never felt in rhythm, my breathing was erratic, and it seemed like I was working extra hard to maintain my form and quick foot turnover. Based on that, I thought I'd be lucky to hit the high end of my goal finish time (40 to 43 minutes).
I felt like I was running in a swimming pool. Alternating bursts of humidity and rain had soaked me through, and my limbs felt sluggish. My pace never felt consistent or, least of all, fast.
However, as I crested the Bastard Garman Hill, I was surprised to see that my watch was at 28 minutes with a little less than a mile and a half to go. If I really pushed it, I would be pretty close to 40 minutes.
The long straightaway pulled me along like a conveyor belt. I apparently snubbed the only friend of mine who would have been awake at that cruel hour (aside from the lovely Enthusiast who was on her way to work) by blowing right past his truck at a stop light as I made a left and then some rights into my neighborhood.
[Drunkard's note: In an e-mail, my third-shifter friend said, "You looked pissed." That's just my default facial expression. I get it from my mother.]
With a half-mile to go, I was right on target for a 40-flat finish, which only made me want to go faster in search of mile pace in the 7:50s.
I made the final turn onto my street. I waited until I was a few houses down to look at my watch for the final time: 39 and counting. A final surge rushed through me. My apartment was in sight. My erratic form finally fell into a comfortable rhythm.
The last house before the apartment buildings seemed to elongate. I finally passed my marker, looked down at my watch, and almost let the timer keep going because I had plenty of cushion--39:54. Just in time for the skies to start pouring rain.
After my run, I took Dobson out to conduct official canine business. He enjoyed the debris from the storms. Clearly a Teddy Roosevelt fan, the Dobber found a branch and carried it halfway down the block back home.
Bark softly and carry a big stick.