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Physically, I’m in pain. I forgot my Body Glide and paid the price – my left leg was an angry shade of red last night.

Mentally …

I was in a foul mood yesterday and it was all my fault. I was disappointed with myself – disappointed that I didn’t have a good run, and disappointed @ my perception that it was a bad run.

I’ve never felt that way after a run. Sure, there have been times during a run where I’d wonder what the hell I was doing out there. There have been plenty of days that I’d prefer to step off the course and walk the rest of the way. But after a run … that’s when I’m feeling my best.

Yesterday was different. My frustration(? anger? feelings of inadequacy?) started 60 minutes into the run, lasted the final 25 minutes and then for hours afterward. I couldn’t concentrate on any of the other things that I wanted to do yesterday. I kept coming back to the run and why I felt the way I did.

Even now, nearly 24 hours later, I still can’t figure out what was wrong with me yesterday.

I’ll deal with it and move on.
Just run
I don’t want to be the Sunday morning head case.

I can just picture our next long run. Each mile, someone will be responsible for asking, “Dave, are you OK? Should we slow down, buddy? How are your legs? Do you want to stop and rest? Would you like me to carry you for the next mile so you can relax?”

Crap, I really, really don’t want to be the Sunday Morning Head Case.

Here is my hope – Sunday morning, someone/anyone/everyone needs to look at me before our run and say “Are you going to be an f*in baby today, or are you going to run? Stop thinking, and just run.”

I miss my long slow runs.

I miss having nice conversations with friends. It’s tough to talk when you’re wheezing.

I tend to joke about it, but the fact is, I don’t like going fast on Sunday. I don’t want it to be a race.

By the end of this morning’s run (10 miles in 1:23), I was pissed that I couldn’t keep up. Even worse – I was pissed that I was pissed. There is absolutely no reason to feel inadequate running 8:00 pace when I would much rather be at 9:00 pace.

I spent 40 minutes alone. When running with 4 other people, there’s no reason to be alone. Granted, I took a 30-second break to duck behind a tree, but even when I caught back up, I couldn’t maintain the pace. I watched as 4 other runners, in groups of 2 and 2 moved further ahead.

There’s no reason to think this will change. We say the same thing before every Sunday run, “We’re going slow today,” but eventually, the pace picks up, the conversations shorten and I’m counting steps, trying to get to my happy place.

I suppose I have a choice to make ….

Not only is she a kick-ass rower, runner and mom, she also makes an insanely great smoothie.

After our killer Sunday run, Tina Napolitan surprised 4 very tired runners w/ the best smoothie I’ve ever tasted. She even added a dollop of whipped cream to the top of it.

I wonder what Colleen Terrill will have for us the next time we run @ Kevin’s house??

Keith and Rick are trying to hurt me.

I have no evidence to back up this thought, but there’s no doubt it’s true.

Rick and Keith spend the week dreaming up methods to abuse me – their ultimate goal is to make a grown man cry.

I imagine that they drive our Sunday course on Saturday afternoon. They brainstorm the best comments (“Wow, I’ve never seen you move so slow, Dave. Are you walking?”) to make and the sections where they’ll suddenly pick up the pace without warning. Then they spend Sunday afternoon reviewing what worked and what didn’t and plan adjustments for the next Sunday.

Here’s how I imagined this past Saturday went:
Keith picks up Rick around 2pm to drive the planned Sunday course. Rick had already mapped out a basic course – a 5-miler around Barnstable that we’d run twice. Keith was concerned about the level of difficulty – he wants to make sure there’s enough hills.

Rick: Oh, don’t worry, there’s plenty of hills with this one – we have Sadler, Minton, Biltmore and Great Hill.

Keith: Yeah, but I think we need at least two more – let’s run up and down the Service Rd a couple of times.  We should hit Longboat, too .. that hill sucks.  Fravel will hate it.

Rick:  Dude, you are the man.  That’s an awesome idea.

Keith:  OK, here’s the plan.  I’m going to complain about some calf pain.  You already tanked on the track on Wednesday, so no one expects much out of you (seriously – I thought you went back to the car).  Let’s start off nice and slow – we’ll get Dave chatting a lot. He’ll probably even feel a little sorry for us.  Then, by the time we hit Sadler, we’ll push it to 10K pace and see how he does.

Rick:   Not bad … but he’ll have that long straightaway on Old Stage Rd to recover.

Keith:  That’s OK – after Old Stage we’re going to hit the Service Rd.  You know that he hates the Service Rd.

Rick:   Let’s keep it close for a while on the Service Rd.  We’ll save the big speed burst until the second hill.  We’ll let him stick with us through the first one.  You should get him talking – you know he can’t shut up when we run.  Ask him about his blog – seriously, the guy talks about that more than his family.

Keith:   God, do I have to?

Rick:  OK, ask him about work.  I don’t know about you, but I never listen when he starts talking about computers.  I know – ask him what’s better – Comcast or DSL .. that’ll be a good 10 minutes of him jabbering away.

Keith:  That’s fuckin great.

Rick:  You know what would be fantastic- right as we’re getting to the end of the second loop, let’s add on another mile .. just for the hell of it.

Keith:  You are an evil genius. Wait – what about Kevin??

Rick:  Don’t worry about Kevin – I’m going to give him $20 to stay with Dave.  I told him to talk, ask a couple questions and then speed up when Dave starts to answer.  He’ll have to speed up to keep the conversation going.

Keith:  $5 says he cries before we hit the cell tower on the Service Rd

Rick:  $10 that we get him on the 2nd Sadler hill.

For the record, I didn’t cry on any part of the run, but they did add close to an extra mile on the 2nd loop.  I didn’t run it – I was completely spent.  The Service Rd (as usual) kicked my butt.

And for what it’s worth – I love running with Keith, Kevin and Rick.  I couldn’t imagine better running partners, but I occasionally wonder if they’re trying to hurt me.  : )

We hit the entrance to New Seabury at around the 40:00 mark.

Kevin gave us the much appreciated information that there would be water in one more mile.

Aaahhh .. water in less than 9 minutes – the chance to stretch; a few minutes to work out the kink in the side of my calf; an excuse to try and catch my breath.  The thoughts of water put a little jump in my stride.

I think we all felt the same way, because we moved from a very comfortable 8:40 pace to about 8:10.

Up one hill and around a bend, Kevin told us one more hill.

Up one more hill and around another bend, Kevin told us one more bend.

Around one more bend and up yet another hill, Kevin told us …. oh, who the f*** cares what Kevin said. I wasn’t believing a word he was saying.

Finally, 20 minutes after the infamous “one more mile” comment, we reached the water stop.

Fortunately for Kevin, the view was worth the wait.  We were right on the water in the Maushop Village section of New Seabury – 180 degrees of beautiful private beach and multi-million dollar, 500 square foot homes.   When this software gig finally pays off and I have an extra 10 million in the bank, I plan to go back to that neighborhood and buy one of those houses whose windows I was peaking in.

Side note to that guy still in his jammies looking out his kitchen window- sorry if we woke you up.   We won’t tell your Mommy and Daddy you were hanging out @ their beach house

Let’s compare our Saturday nights and Sunday performances:

A nice quiet dinner with Michelle.

A couple extra glasses of water before going to bed.

In bed at 9:30 pm.

Asleep at 10:15pm

7 hours of continuous sleep

Up @ 5am to stretch and ease into the morning.

Picked up @ 5:45am to start morning run.

Dinner out with the Barnstable Rowing Club from 6-11pm.

Reasonably heavy alcohol consumption during dinner.

After party w/ more drinks @ Harry’s in Hyannis (including a shot of Peach Tree Schnapps … that’s just insanity!)

Home @ 1am.

In bed @ 1:30am.

Woke up @ 2:30am with a screaming calf cramp.

Got up, walked around, spent the rest of the night sleeping on the couch.

Overslept until 5:25am.

Picked up by Keith @ 5:30am.  Still tasting the Peach Tree Schnapps.

The Sunday run
When comparing those two nights you’d think that Rick would be a puddle on the side of the road about 45 minutes into our run.

You’d think that he’d be calling a cab after an hour.

Hell, any sane person would have looked @ the clock @ 5:25am and left a note on the door telling Keith that  he wasn’t running.

Not Rick.

By the 9 mile mark I was wheezing.  I couldn’t speak in complete sentences. My legs hurt and I was seeing spots.Meanwhile, Rick was a blur in the distance on Great Neck Rd in Mashpee.  He was a good quarter-half mile ahead.  I was pushing 8:20 pace and didn’t have a prayer of catching him.  He was definitely NOT running like any hungover 46-year-old should.

My Afternoon Plan
I’m heading to the package store.   There’s a bottle of Peach Tree Schnapps that needs to come home with me.

Kevin gets to select this week’s long run – the only ground rules:

  • it has to be @ least 90 minutes
  • it’s your route so you are responsible for dropping off water (somewhere in the 45-60 minute range)

Optional ground rules:

  • scenery is nice – we live on the Cape, we should be able to look @ some water when we run
  • hills are our friends – a course w/ some decent hills would be welcomed

Elements that I like in a long run:

  • mix up the terrain – trails this time of year are great
  • if we have to stick to the road, lets see some different areas – smaller subdivisions, nice neighborhoods, golf courses

Below is the route that Kevin has mapped out for us … I’m not very familiar w/ the area, but based on what I know about it, I’d say he did a very good job.
New Seabury Run