Sand Run was busy, and I was feeding off the other runners. My mind was in race mode when I reached the turnaround. There were all sorts of targets to hunt down. My pace dropped each of the last four miles. The countdown: nine, eight, seven ... seven and a half.
At the start of that last mile, I passed a guy and a girl running together. "Passing on your left," I called out as I motored up the hill.
Behind me, I heard the girl say, "Go ahead. I'll meet you at the end." The guy reappeared on my left shoulder as he passed me.
"Uh-oh, never good to get repassed like this," I joked. He said nothing. He pulled ahead. I dialed in his pace and tagged along about 20 feet behind. Nearing the halfway point of that sixth mile, he made the fatal mistake of looking over his shoulder. You're so dead, I thought.
I passed on his right. He tagged along behind me during a slow, steady climb. I kept pushing the pace. I could hear his footsteps. I could hear his breathing. I passed a large group of people walking in the other direction. Clearing their ranks, I heard nothing. I never look back until the end. I see his hangdog walk as I cross the field to the water fountain.
Recipe for a Bad Run
Sunday was a different story. Here's how you can recreate the scene for your own enjoyment:
- Stay up late the night before.
- Consume above average quantity of alcohol.
- Do not sleep well.
- Avoid proper hydration.
- Eat a breakfast devoid of nutrition.
- Choose the hottest part of the day to run, preferably 80 to 90 degrees with matching humidity percentage.
- Assume a negative attitude.
- Voila! Twelve miles becomes six shitty miles.
Rest? Don't Mind if I Do
Last week was meant to be a rest week, but I may have taken it a bit too far.
Akron Marathon Training Week 11:
- Tuesday was a toe-jammed five-mile recovery run to flush out a great Week 10 (10:18 pace).
- The toe felt better after taking a day off and skipping a six-miler.
- Thursday was an enjoyable, albeit slow and shortened, four-mile trail jaunt with Martini and some other folks (11:21 pace).
- Saturday's sixer above was the bright spot (8:20 pace).
- Sunday's planned 12-miler became a bad six-miler.
[Drunkard's note: That movie is "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" -- duh.]