If you haven't seen the new TV show "The Good Guys," it's okay; it's self-conscious and tries too hard, but it might hold a cult following like "Sledge Hammer!" did a generation ago. It does have one great catchphrase - the title to this post.
Today was supposed to be an easy 14 miles. I woke up at 5 AM (what's up with that?) and got out the door much earlier than I usually do on a Saturday. This meant that I ended up seeing an entirely different pack of runners than I usually do. They didn't get the memo: I OWN that course; they're just allowed to run there. So, after 9 miles, I passed a guy half my age and he didn't take it well and decided he had to catch the old guy. I thought that, being the week before Grandma's Marathon, anyone I saw was not going to push themselves too hard, knowing they had a big race next week, but apparently this guy was not one of that group. That meant that he was just doing one lap (3 miles) and was fresh - not having spent a week as I did, going from running 9 minute miles to 8 and keeping the mileage reasonably high - but I could hold him off for three miles.
"Time to bust some punks!" I heard myself mutter under my breath. The race was on. The secret is to keep in control, edging up the speed gradually until you find his breaking point and wait to hear his footsteps gain on you, which is the sign he's getting close to where his finish line is... then crush him like a bug.
First mile: 7:01. Fast, but not bad. The next mile has a hill; let's see if he can run hills. Up hard, down HARD. Second mile: 6:27. I couldn't hear him any more, so I thought I dropped him and eased up; on a turn, I glanced back and he was right on my tail - he'd been cutting corners to stay with me. Crunch time. Third mile: 6:17. He was still there... he was going to do another lap!
Now it got serious. I was wasted. Nothing left in the tank and there was no way to keep that pace. It was a war of attrition. I slowed to 7:38 and he stayed on my heels. Fortunately, I only had one mile left to go. I kept focused on the sound of his footsteps and managed to keep him at bay until I got to my finish line, which surprised him, because everyone else starts from a parking lot, but I live on the course.
14 miles in 1:49. Not bad for the first week of marathon training.
Steve responds to the news:
News: The CDC announces that one in four American teenage girls has a STD.
Steve Responds: You're welcome.
News: France plays Uruguay to a scoreless tie in the World Cup.
Steve Responds: Ooh. I'm quivering with soccer fever!
Steve responds again: At least France didn't cede their locker room to the Germans this time.
News: The estimated size of the gulf oil spill has doubled once again.
Steve Responds: Looks like the Mayan calendar running out in 2012 may be right.
5 days ago