Sunday, September 2, 2007

Two Days Off

It's baaack. Due to the pain returning in my injured foot after I did an intermediate run, a track workout and a recovery run (running home from the track) in one day, I took the next two days, Thursday and Friday, off. But on Saturday I had to lead the intermediate group in the TMG program I direct because both intermediate coaches were away. That band of runners was scheduled to do 9 miles.

Because of my sore foot, I was tempted to wave the group on down the trail and wait for them to come back in an hour and a half. I'm glad I didn't because the route I chose for them to run was on the Custis Trail, a hilly and not particularly well-marked trail. It's within a few miles of my house so I have run it dozens of times but most of the eleven athletes in my group didn't know the trail. The three runners in the lead managed to go to the turnaround point and return without incident (thus earning them an A+ in sign reading) but I took the rest of the group on a wrong turn and we got into city streets and went a mile before I sheepishly admitted we were lost.

Lost? Not me. Not lost really, because I knew exactly where we were by then since I live around there, but we were no longer anywhere near the trail. Like a guy finally having to ask for directions, I collected the eight runners following me, 'fessed up and had them backtrack to the trail. We got our nine miles done by turning around early to compensate for the distance we ran while lost.

That's what makes running exciting, seeing new places as you run along trying to figure out where the hell you are. I joked with my group that our adventure demonstrated why runners should always carry a fare card, so they can jump aboard a Metro to get back when they're miles off course.

I wore an ace bandage on my injured foot and it felt okay. After the workout, I went with Not Born To Run to wish Bex goodbye. (Left. The group Jeanne runs with at the TMG actually stretches before their runs. Jeanne is the flexible one in the visor.)

You're leaving? Bex was leaving town that very day for good. We went to lunch with her and E after they finished packing their car like a suitcase with the rest of their possessions left over after the movers left. It was packed, too. To squeeze that last box of Kleenex into the car, Bex had to pull the tissues out and throw the box away.

Jeanne was kind enough to treat us all to lunch as a goodbye to Bex after years of working with her and a thanks to me for hauling E's loveseat over to her house when Bex gave it away. Thanks Jeanne!

At the restaurant Jeanne and I and Bex were talking about marathons and times and saying off the top of our heads how you needed a 9:09 pace to break four hours, how a 3:50 was about an 8:48, and how you needed to run at about an 8:33 pace if you're going for a 3:45. It all was very stimulating for the three of us. (Right. Bex at rest during her seventh leg at Lake Tahoe.)

What are you talking about? I looked at E, the non-runner in the group. He's a terrific tennis player instead. He was politely smiling and looking like he was listening. I asked him what he was really doing while we were talking thus. He said, "Balancing my checkbook in my head."

I persisted, "What do you hear when we talk running like this?"

"I imagine it's like what our dog Nelson hears when humans talk," he explained. "It goes like this. Blah blah blah blah Nelson blah blah blah bad dog blah blah blah blah blah come blah blah blah no blah blah...."

E is a riot.

After lunch Bex and E left for the great state of Californi-yay. Permanently. Sigh.

You did what? A called from the new town she just moved to and said she had just completed her first 20-miler as she gets ready for Chicago. I was instantly insanely jealous. All I had done so far to get ready for Chicago was an ugly sixteen. (Left. A during her moving sale on Capitol Hill. She's the one on the stairs.)

But the very next morning, Sunday, I had my own 20-miler scheduled.


jeanne said...

Wow you really captured that day! E. IS a riot. The whole morning was fun and bittersweet. I'm gonna miss those two more than they will know.

And you needn't be insane jealous of A. anymore.

Dori said...

Sorry your injury returned, but I hope it's better now. My group gets lost sometimes, too, but they usually end up running extra mileage because of it! Hope you had a great Labor Day weekend.

nylisa said...

"That's what makes running exciting, seeing new places as you run along trying to figure out where the hell you are."

Ain't THAT the truth!!

So where besides the National Mall is there a nice running area in DC?

Just12Finish said...

Dude! 3:45 is an 8:36 pace, not 8:33. I'm struggling mightily and failing miserably to approach 8:36 on my pace runs, and my heart skipped a few beats when read 8:33 :-)

CewTwo said...

Getting lost is all part of the fun!

Now, I would have said that everyone was looking a little flabby and the extra run was for that...

Oh well! Run long!

Susan said...

Runners make the best friends! :)

Bex said...

That day was fun, and I miss you guys! Thanks again for getting us out the door. We would STILL be in that parking lot bickering over what stuff to keep and what to throw out if wasn't for you and Jeanne.

Hey, are you going to be in LA anytime soon for work? I've figured out a couple of good running routes here.