I waited all week to run again. I felt good enough to go earlier but I was determined not to go overboard. I thought about running a long distance; something to remind me of the more memorable moments of the marathon (specifically of when I was running strong in miles 7-17). I felt like I still had to finish the race.
The morning dawned and the rain had stopped, leaving a sunny cool morning, perfect for running. I had some breakfast and headed out to Park Avenue to see if my old buds were still showing up at 700. Sure enough, they were there and they were off at the tick of 700 which left me sitting in the car behind a slow poke driver. I parked quickly and jumped out and ran.
Within a mile I had caught the pack of four (Chris, Jack, Bob and Marty), sneaking up on them and saying, "On your right." The conservative Jack saw me and said, "Not very likely that you'd be on the right. Get over here where you belong."
It was good to see them again. We had a nice run in the beautiful Florida winter morning air, about 48 degrees. Chris and Jack turned in at 6 miles. Marty and Bob were going 10. Decisions. Decisions. What should I do? Come back slowly and go short or test that left side muscle up in front of my hip and go all the way around? You know, don't you?
I joined Marty and Bob on the longer run; and Marty was pushing it too. He was a strong runner in his younger days doing 120-mile weeks of training for five years in his 20s. Now he's a recovering overdoer who still pushes. He ran me flat out for stretches that made my left side hurt again but it seems the more I stretched out my stride, the less it hurt. I surmise the injury is a result of poundng at the same short pace for so long, while the speedier pace absorbs the pounding faster and more difusively.
I covered 10 miles in 1:35, a 9:28 pace. Boy, did that feel good. I can't wait to do it again. On the other hand I better go see Sherlene since the hip thing is still a bit knotty and the left ankle continues to have a dull pain. I don't really care horribly. It's just so much fun to run hard again after crapping out in Mile 19 last Sunday. Next marathon, I'll be doing 24 mile trainers and I won't be stopping.