I took Monday off. For reasons I don't quite understand, Monday has become an acceptable day off from running (Thursday, too).

I had two reasons to take off Monday:

Reason #1: my Sunday morning run w/ Rick, Keith and Kevin killed me. We ran an easy 5 in Hyannis/Centerville followed by three one-mile repeats @ the Barnstable High track. The plan was to run the mile repeats @ 8:00-8:30 pace – we're all running fall marathons, and haven't officially started training yet (well, @ least in my mind I haven't started training yet), so this would be a nice way to ease into the speed work that will be coming soon.

Our first mile was completed in 7:45. We ran the next mile in 7:30 (a little tougher) and the final mile in a blistering (for me) 7:19. If I was running by myself, I can guarantee that my last three miles of an 8 mile run would NOT be done in < 23 (27 … maybe).

As I climbed back in the truck to drive home, my legs were chafed, my knees ached, my eyes were watering and I wanted to lay down and cry. The thought of a Monday run were laughable.

Reason #2: While getting the kids to bed Sunday night I slammed my left pinky toe into the footstool in Caitlin's bedrooom. After some colorful language and a rousing version of the stubbed toe dance (hop on one foot, cry a little and spin 5x fast) I thought for sure I broke it. Now, I have no idea what a broken toe would feel like. I've never broken any bones in my body, but as far as I was concerned, my pinky toe was out of commission.

So, I took Monday off. My toe wasn't feeling too bad (apparently it wasn't broken … I really need to work on my pain gauge – I'm a huge wuss). My legs were almost pain free (the chafing heels quickly). I actually considered running Monday night, but thought that I'd have a better run Tuesday if I got a good nights sleep.

Tuesday morning dawns
As predicted, I woke Tuesday morning feeling great. My legs were back to normal. My toe was no longer throbbing. A 60-minute run was planned for 5:45am (needed my coffee first).

It's still cool here in the mornings. Tuesday wasn't any exception – 45 degrees w/ a breeze from the east. I started slowly, jogging down Cherrystone and cutting across the S&S parking lot. I was @ the Rte 28 stoplight 4:30 into my run.

For the next 40 minutes I was in a dream state. I'm working on some consulting projects and am trying to determine the most effective way to implement a new survey application. I let my mind wander over different scenarios while I took the turn @ Loop Beach and started heading for home. I passed all the familar landmarks on the way back – the Cotuit Library (24 minutes from home). Lowell Field (20 minutes), the crowing rooster (18 minutes), the hawks nest (15 minutes).

It was @ the hawks nest that I started to feel it – was that a pebble in my left shoe? Too close to home to stop and check. For the next 15 minutes the thoughts consumed me:

  • it must be a pebble
  • is it a toe nail?
  • no, it's a pebble
  • maybe it's part a seashell
  • some dried skin? a crusty blister?
  • I think it's my toenail
  • shut up and run – it's just a pebble .. wuss

Before I knew it, I was back on Rte 28, trying to cross the road @ Pepper's Pantry for the last 1/4 mile.

Back home @ 6:50. Michelle was reading her book in the living room. The kids were still sleeping. Scooter was outside playing. The sun was streaming in the back windows. I was completely @ peace. I forgot all about my toe/pebble/sand/piece of seashell. I just grabbed a water, sat on the coffee table near Michelle and enjoyed her company.

As it turns out, my toenail is still secure on my pinky toe. I have no idea what was in my shoe. It probably was a pebble, but it would have been a much cooler story if it was my toenail.