St. Pat’s is pissing me off. I admit it. I keep thinking about the numbers. Obsessing over them, actually. How is it possible that I ran that thing a whole seven minutes slower than last year? According to RaceWire, my worst time yet. What the what?
In an effort to get over Patrick I ran Florence. Easter Sunday. Cold-ish (a cool 40 degrees) and cloudy-ish. Threats of rain. No chance of sun. I didn’t have a game plan for my old haunt. Just my go-to route to start: up to Look Park (1 mile), around the park (1.3 miles), and then? After that I really wasn’t sure. I wanted a 90 minute run. Here’s what ended up happening:
In the park it was quiet. It was if I had shown up late for the big hullabaloo. I felt like I was witnessing the death of the party. A dog walker in the distance. No noise. All around me utter and complete silence. In the grass I found the remnants of someone’s Easter basket; one half of a pink plastic egg, the prize already confiscated, and wispy shimmering streamers made to mimic grass. Their iridescent colors caught my eye convincing me to scoop them up. I ended up carrying the crinkling plastic for a few miles; stealing away the party for my own. After circling Look once I was ready to head out until I found a trail and ran along the river for another 7/10ths of a mile. The woods were creepy dark. Even the crows didn’t caw. That eerie detour gave me a full three miles before finally leaving the park. When I found myself on Bridge Street – the one without a bridge to speak of – I decided to run until I ran out of road. Past the new condos and the old cemetery. Past the homes smelling of baking ham and wood smoke; the occasional joint. Bridge took me to King and an even six miles. If you know King then you know it is a metropolis of traffic exhaust and wandering homeless. I turned up a bike path as soon as I was able. From there it was a straight shot home. The bike path was peaceful.
In the end I banged out 8.41 miles in 80 minutes. But. But! But, here’s the thing about this run. I didn’t work for it. I ran with an easy confidence without thinking about time. I didn’t push my lungs or my legs at all. After the first mile I found an easy rhythm, a pocket of pace to sit in. And it was like that for the entire run. My only disappointment? I was shooting for 90 minutes and came home 10 minutes early.
Confessional: there was one other disappointment. Knee pain akin to TEN years ago is back. Mile four through six were spent listening to my left knee talk to me. After mile six it fell silent for the rest of the run and never spoke up again, but I heard it the first time. Loud and clear. Back to PT! Bang! Bang!