As we headed the mile plus walk back home from the track, the tumultuous darkening gray skies began pouring down on us. I realized that the monsoon pelting us with hard fat drops made little difference because I was already soaked from my own sweat from my run. If anything, the rain starting then was great timing because I had just finished my hard training run.
Once again Ben offered to pace me in my 2.5 mile run at a 8:00 min pace. On Thursday I ran 7.1 miles without him. I wanted to run a 9:00 min, but my average was a 9:29 pace (total time of 1:07:21). A hard run in the humidity (humidity kills me more than heat us), but well off my intended pace. I’m not so into pushing myself when it’s so sticky out. I’m a Californian girl and I don’t do humidity. Give me dry heat any day. My legs and rear were a bit sore afterwards (I guess I do need to get used to running in minimal shoes), so I treated myself to a pedicure. My toes needed some pampering.
This morning we headed out to the track. Saturday morning and the track is teeming with runners: tons of young men warming up for their touch football game, some serious runners putting in speed work, and older people walking about trying to get healthier. I dealt with little traffic in the fast lane throughout my run, as Ben’s running up ahead to get people out and my barks of “On your left!” or “Coming through” scattered the slower going people to staying out of the innermost lane.
I started with a slow warm up as usual. Then Ben joined me to pace me. He’s good for that. I definitely run harder with him. Otherwise, it’s too easy to slip to a slightly slower pace – one that doesn’t quite leave me feeling my chest constrict from a lack of oxygen. The first six laps were fine (although the fifth lap, I did run it at a 2:09 pace, but I had a buffer from the earlier laps). The seventh lap I had lost count and thought I did one more than I actually did. When Ben stated that we were starting on the 8th lap (when I thought we were on our 9th), my heart fell a little because I realized that I would be running this hard just a little bit longer. I sucked up the pain and continued. I didn’t think about the total distance. I just focused on each lap I was on and concentrated on finishing that one. The last lap was a joy because I knew the pain was going to be over soon. For that one, I focused on getting to each landmark. On the straightaway, Ben zoomed off ahead so he could stop his watch as soon as I crossed the finish line. I sped up as much as possible (I really don’t have much of a kick) thinking “The faster I run, the sooner this torture is over.”
Over the black mark and Ben yelled, “You did it!” I ran 2.5 miles in 19:57. My training for running a sub-25 5K is going great. I didn’t get a side stitch until after I stepped off the track. It left me quickly since I had stopped quickly. It was nice that I managed to run without dealing with a terrible side pain.
While running there had been some small intermittent showers that cooled me off, but the torrential rain didn’t start until after we started walking home. At some points, it was raining so hard that I could no longer see and relied on Ben to guide me. We were both thoroughly soaked by the time we got home. I hopped into the shower to warm up. Then I made us breakfast: whole wheat banana cardamon pancakes topped with strawberries (I also had Nutella on mine) and a side of scrambled eggs. I love making banana pancakes by grinding up the bananas in the milk in a blender first. This way the taste of bananas is infused throughout the entire pancake. The pancakes were delicious!
Ben just informed me that a tornado hit NYC while we were walking home in the middle of the downpour. That explains everything.