Last week kicked off the running season in Florida. There was a 5K that I skipped but it drew a good crowd of 1500. The race was won by a Myrtle Beach, SC, resident who was visiting. Her names is Zola Pietersen. You may remember her as the barefoot 18 year-old South African who unfortunately got tangled up with Mary Slaney on the track at the 1984 Olympics with Slaney taking a bad fall. Both of their dreams of Olympic glory were dashed. Yes, it was Zola Budd and she is still fast.
I broke my nine year record for monthly mileage today with an 18-miler. August provided five Sunday mornings to go long so it was natural to pile it on. I finished with 172 miles and no injuries.
The run today began early enough to put down six before 7 a.m. and the usual meet-up on Park Avenue. There was a good crowd and I mixed it up with Jack, Jergen, Chris and Christy. I stuck with the last two until the end of the ten mile loop. Chris was unusually erratic in his pace, going out fast with Ed and then at varying speeds. Christy was just plain fun to run with. She's booting up for New York.
My effort was to find a zone or two. My early miles were a combo of heavy breathing, tight upper torso, stiff legs and scuffling feet. I eventually found a nice stride and regulated deep breathing. It felt just about right. I held it for awhile and found it again later when I knew my stores were running low and I just needed to hang on.
It was the inclines that had me remembering the hills of Rhode Island and the steady cooler pace I kept up there. I avoided the panic yips and kept it going through to the end. But, boy was I tired.