Saturday, July 18, 2009

One Run, Two Tales

Yesterday afternoon, Middle Tennessee was greeted with fall-like weather. A cool northwest breeze, something we don't expect until late September, rushed through town. All I could ponder during limited free time was "long run tonight."

Three earlier runs this week didn't go so swell. A five-miler early Monday was humid and slow. The last two miles took effort. A three-miler Tuesday with Pepper and a solo three-miler Wednesday weren't impressive, either. We've had a decent July, just muggy as usual. Maybe that's it, I thought.

Around 5, I took off feeling great in the dry air. My aerobics would be good the entire run. My legs muscles and back, on the other hand, didn't perform. It was confirmation this pair of Brooks Dyads, which seemed different than previous pairs, was toast after 150-plus miles. Usually, I get 250-plus.

At Mile 4, with muscles clamoring for a break, a skinny-mini gal glided past me. I didn't hear her with my iPod playing. I rationalized, "She's not running eight like me." Some mystery voice on my shoulder said, "She doesn't eat as much cheese as you, either." I kicked mildly, hoping the legs would loosen up, but to no avail.

At 5.5, a skinny-mini dude soared past at the same pace, probably on an 8:00/mile. Near my favorite independent grocery store, I decided to gel and stretch briefly. The effects were instantaneous. My legs felt almost stress-free for about two miles. Toward the end, the leg bite returned.

I wasn't tired after the run. I felt refreshed, a sign my conditioning hasn't dropped too much. That's been a goal this summer. My back and legs, however, begged me to buy a new pair of shoes. I listened, purchasing some Brooks "Defyances" this morning. The Dyads worked well for a few years, but the last pair was a failure. Time to try something new.

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