Yesterday’s 12 mile run was ridiculous. We went running around 5pm on Saturday rather than 8am on Sunday, and it was around 70 degrees and the roads/trails were crowded. The heat is something I am just going to have to get used to, and really, dodging people is a pretty standard part of any big race so I consider that aspect of the run good preparation for Providence. But some other stuff came up that was…interesting.
Exhibit 1: Middle-aged competitive man (The Cling-on)
Lina and I were running along, minding our own business, when we came up on this guy that was going at a pace solidly slower than ours. We were about to pass him (not rudely, I might add!) when he sped up and refused to let us pass him. Ok……..So Lina and I kept going and homeboy stayed a few steps to the front and right of Lina for about 3/4 mile. At one point the path opened up and Lina gestured to me to make our move to pass him, so we sped up significantly and managed to pass him. In an effort to lose him, we kept up a sub-8 pace BUT HE STAYED ON OUR HEELS FOR ANOTHER MILE. This guy was breathing so hard, even grunting at times, and yet he just couldn’t let us go. It was really awkward because he didn’t give us any reason to think that this was being done good-naturedly. It just felt like he didn’t want to be passed by two girls.
The Cling-on finally fell off, but we only had about a quarter mile left before our turn around point. We ended up seeing him on the way back, shuffling along, and he yelled out, “You’re going to kill me!” He was smiling, so immediately Lina and I softened in our opinions of him. Ok. That was friendly of him. What he did was obnoxious (he could have just asked to pace with us!), but we appreciated that he eventually said something to us. Anyways, we wrote off our run as a 6 mile tempo run with a 6 mile cool down (we decided against holding the faster pace after we turned around), which was strange but probably good for us in the end.
Exhibit 2: Digestion Problems
This is, as a rule, not a very glamorous topic, but every athlete experiences digestion issues at some point so I consider it a fair topic in a running blog. If you’re unlucky enough, these digestion issues will coincide with your hot 12 mile run. We had successfully left our cling-on behind when around mile 7, I started cramping. Lina and I had refueled with energy gels just before that, so at first I attributed the cramping to gulping down too much water. But no. That was not the cause. I’ll avoid the unwanted details and just say that the rest of the run was peppered with restroom stops and serious discomfort, and Lina was extremely cool for being so accommodating.
I think running at a different time of day may have upset my digestive system, but I also have suspicions that I ate something bad. In either case, I am kind of glad this happened to me because I will now be very careful about what I eat in the days before Providence, and I have a great appreciation for the fact that the race is in the morning! I will just have remember this when we get up painfully early on race day.
So that was the run. We had an average moving pace of 8:23min/mile which was pleasing, although there was no negative splitting to be had. My muscles are feeling tired today and I need to do some icing, but despite the physical discomfort that plagued the second half of the run and despite the parasitic runner, yesterday’s run made me happy. I am vowing here and now to take the next runs easy, although I remember from track that it is often hard to respect the taper. But I’m going to do it. Maybe I’ll take advantage of the newly installed hammocks at my school…