Monday, May 25, 2015

On and On

The humidity suffocated me a few times last week. Trying to run threshold miles on my lunch break when its 85 degrees out with an even a higher heat index. Like I told my Dad tonight, I don't care how good of shape you are in, it will chew you up and spit you out onto the asphalt.

But later last Thursday afternoon a quick storm blew thru the island and in its aftermath we were left with rain cooled temps and a drastic cut in humidity. Met my old friend Burt that evening as the sun came back out. We headed back into the Carolina Beach State Park and put down close to eight miles. Showed him my little hill circuit, and he showed me a way to cut from the end of a pier by the Cape Fear River back onto Sugar Loaf Trail. (included 2 'long jumps' to clear water that flowed up in between small sand bars and into the reeds.)

Talked about the good 'ol days and our epic trail runs all the way down the back side of the narrow island to behind the Armory. Out and back runs that took 3 hours or more. Changes in terrain, vegetation, into the woods, out of the woods, running by the river, around water towers and drainage ponds where gators live. Exploring the brick and cement ruins of the Dow Chemical Plant. Passing on tales of what they did there (made gas to unleash on the Germans in WWII ?).

Friday...lunch time run...and what a difference in weather from the past few days. I am able to get three miles in at threshold pace, negative splitting them in 6:23, 6:19, 6:09. Working hard, but cruising at times too. That empowering feeling of being in control of it. Dictating pace. Even dialing it back if need be.

Saturday and an early morning trek to Durham to coach with the Cape Fear Flyers. Rode up with my buddy and fellow coach Shawn. Russell slept in the back. 17 year old beast of a shot putter and discus thrower.  It was a sea of humanity at the stadium, white, black, young, old. And everything in between. I cheer, coach, record splits, finish times. Advise, counsel, fellowship. The kids are alright.

Two straight 70 mile weeks. Pain in my right foot ebbs and flows, and sometimes it tweaks my knee, but I run on and through it. I run, run, and run. Sometimes I don't think it matters why. Its something to ponder another day. Probably while I'm running.