Monday, July 20, 2009

Running for One.

A pink cheetah skirt running on the side of the road in a pack of cheetahs is sexy.

A pink cheetah skirt running on the side of the road by herself is a woman who wants to be either noticed for her fashion sense, or noticed so she doesn't get run over.

I ran 11 miles on Saturday, in the humidity, alone. It was not my fastest 11 miles, by any stretch. It was, in fact, so much slower than my Shamrock race that I would have had to run a 3 minute mile for my last 2.1 miles if I'd actually been attempting a PR. Let me take you back though, through my New England run and share it with you.

From my In-Laws house you can go to the right and go up a monster hill for about a half a mile. It's comparable to the hill in Maymont Park. You all know "THE ONE" I'm talking about. If you go to the left, you run for about 400m or so and then you go up a monster hill for about a half mile, it's comparable to the hill in Fox Hall. Or, you can, on the 400m of "relative flat", exit the neighborhood onto a road that is not exactly what I would advertise as "runner safe".

So when I decided to run 12 miles, I headed straight up the hill to the right. Once you reach the top of the hill, you are mostly on gently rolling hills around the neighborhood. I eeked out 5 miles of out and backs and culdesacs before running back down the big hill to the left. As I turned to leave the neighborhood I was beeping at exactly 6 miles, averaging an 11:30 pace. Yikes, 11:30? Really? I feel like THIS at an 11:30??? Uh oh. After about a half mile of very real danger and dodging cars, I ended up on a highway that has a bike lane. I ran from Norfolk to Foxborough. The bike lane was really handy, giving me a 5 foot "window" of running room. But the traffic seemed a little thick, even for the early morning, so when I got the opportunity, I turned down a slightly more residential road. Still, lots of traffic for a Saturday morning... until I remembered the tiny detail that was nagging me in the back of the noodle... something like, "hey, is it TONIGHT that Elton John and Billie Joel play at Gillette Stadium?" Oh...

My plan had been to run a simple 3 mile out and 3 mile back to finish up at a total of 12 miles. I'd been able to improve my pace to a steady 10:30, but at mile 2.5... the road ended. As in, where the road should have been, it was now under construction and a flag "dude" was stopping traffic with the cooperation of another flag "dude"... Not exactly safe for me. So I turned around. I was feeling good- SO I FOOLISHLY THOUGHT, I'll simply overshoot by a bit at the very end.

Yea right. The hills on route 140 (the bike lane road) weren't killer, but they are rolling. So you can celebrate each climb with a nice rolling drop, but you KNOW there's another climb behind it. By the time I got back to the dangerous stretch and into my In-Laws neighborhood I had hit a wall. It was at that point I decided that 11 hilly miles would just have to equal 12 flat miles and I called Time Of Death on my Long Run at 1:59:andchange.

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