One of the advantages of living in a University town is that when spring comes along, I can easily play a lecherous old man as the shorts and revealing tops come out from their long winter slumber and are paraded up and down the boulevard by the young women enjoying their last month of the semester at the campus. Soon the town will empty out and a different level of residency will be experienced. And so, one of the things I enjoy is the annual 10-mile race in April. I ran it again this year (though much slower than my fastest race two years ago). Even toward's the back of the pack, there are attractive people (and I'm focusing on the women) to run with and enjoy. Two years ago, I chased a nice young blond woman and her bobbing pony tail (though I wasn't too focused on that pony tail) as I ran at a sub-8:40 /mile pace. This year I didn't pick someone to run with behind, so much as I went to run and survive after five months off from my training.
And it was at Mile 7 my legs started having this conversation with my brain:"What are you doing to me?"
It was at mile 7 that the tiredness of the quads began to be noticed. I was now twice as far as any recent run on my legs and I still had three miles to go. And I was now in the pace group I would likely remain with all the way to the end. And so, I let my mind wander as I enjoyed (ogled) the running bodies around and in front of me. It took my mind off the growing discomfort of the last few miles. "Man, am I out of shape!" I said to myself. I definitely wasn't race ready. But it was nice to out among fellow runners putting in the effort.
And then came the last turn and the last hill. As the hill flattened out towards the finish line I picked up the pace. Finish fast and look good doing it. And as I approached the finish line, friends cheered me on to the finish. Their cheering along the course and in the finish area meant a lot to me. It was nice to have them call out my name and hi-five me along the course.
And now comes the tough work...to rebuild my running base and get back to that sub-25 minute 5K and that sub two-hour half marathon on my way to Boston Qualification.
There will be more days when different parts of my body ask "what are you doing to me?" Hopefully, I'll be able to answer while allowing myself to enjoy the distractions.