I recently learned that there's a phrase used in sports (maybe other places too) that if a guy is beat by a girl he's been "chicked". I find this amusing and not insulting. Especially since I was completely beat by two 70 year olds on my long run yesterday and think that there should also be a phrase called "gramp'd". Not that it takes a lot of effort or skill to beat me and there are a ton of older people that can blow past me but I found it particularly defeating on Sunday when not one but two 70 year olds ran past me with very little effort. But more on that later.
The scheduled plan for Sunday was 7 miles but I kept the option of going 8 in my mind as I ran along the greenway. After all once you get that far along adding another mile really doesn't make a difference. I started the run with a mindset of not wanting to be there at all. My muscles were tight and I was feeling lazy. Plus I already had to pee and there wasn't a bathroom where I started. I knew I'd have to go 1.75 miles in before being able to stop. But I also knew that once I got started that I would feel better about things (except for the need to pee).
I definitely felt more energy on this run. Thank God for carbs even though I can also say good-bye to any weight loss. I even thought about not stopping at 1.75 miles and continuing on to 2.8 miles for the next bathroom but common sense made me stop. I didn't want to stop because I knew I would lose my momentum and that proved to be true. It took a few minutes before I was able to start jogging again. I spent an unusual amount of time looking at the fish hanging out in the shallows of the river.
I got to the 3 mile marker and was passed by a woman in pretty good shape which at least inspired me to keep going before taking another walking break. However, after climbing a short hill I did have to stop and breathe. I kept going past the 3.5 mile marker knowing that another 1/2 mile wouldn't be a problem. But then I couldn't find the 4 mile marker. I knew about where it should be and it wasn't there. I ran a little further thinking that maybe I was mistaken and it was the next marker down but even in that state of mind I was able to realize that the four mile marker had disappeared and the next marker was 4.25. So I turned around and took my walking break. I could feel real soreness in my right hamstring this time so I did a little stretch.
I think I allowed myself a full 1/4 mile walk before jogging again and it was shortly after that where I was passed by the old lady jogging along in her cute tank-top and shorts. I knew that she had just started so I took some small comfort in the fact that of course she had more energy, she hadn't run 4 miles yet. Then I was charitable and hoped that I would still be running when I was her age. Then I was petty when her husband passed me by too. So I picked up the pace and let them be my pacers for the next mile and a half. They started slowing down and I was able to pass them but that was a mistake in that I was going too fast and needed a walking break. So they passed me by again and stayed in front of me for the rest of the time. But I was thankful for them because they did set a good pace for me to follow and made me think more about keeping up with them rather than on how tired I was and how slow each marker was going by.
I finally finished and had a total running time of 1 hour and 40 minutes. This is a slow time but is actually on pace to what I expect my half-marathon to be (12 minute mile averages) so I was happy with it. I did shave off a couple of minutes for the bathroom break and I had to stop for a train (there's one portion where you have to run over the tracks).
At the end when I was stretching I decided that you all needed to have my point of view at the end of the run....