The Hair that Broke the Man's Image

I think about strange things when I run.  That’s one of the best parts of long runs.  It gives you time to get completely lost in thoughts.  I used to do that a lot as a teenager and I think that I was smarter as a teenager than I am now.  I also think that all that time thinking is partly why.  Lately I’ve been thinking about losing my hair.

As a man who is losing his hair I began to wonder…just when does the last hair that matters fall out?  There must be a point where you still look attractive but then you lose one more hair and all of a sudden you look old and balding.  I wish I knew when that was.  I would have a party.  Well I guess it would be more like a funeral.  Good bye hair.  My ego and I will miss you greatly.

My run today went very well.  It was about 65 degrees and sunny with some clouds when I left at 11:30 AM.  Today reminded me how difficult it is to run in the Summer sun.  I ran in the sun during the Spring and it wasn’t that bad.  I assumed that would carry over to the Summer but it doesn’t.  The clouds were against me as well.  They avoided me like a reverse game of whack-a-mole.

During the beginning of the run, less than 2 miles into it, I got stuck waiting for a train.  I took the time as an opportunity to stretch.  I ended up having to wait for exactly 2 minutes which wasn’t too bad.

At the half way point I recorded my split time on my watch.  I was amazed to see that it was under one hour!  It was 59 minutes and some seconds.  Since I felt good I was hoping to have a negative split but more importantly I wanted to finish in under 2 hours.  It’s very rare that I complete the Rowe Half in under two hours.

When I was about a quarter mile away from the finish mark I glanced at my watch.  It said 59 minutes.  I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t going to break two hours but I decided to push myself just as hard as if I would.  When I reached the finish I felt great.  I stopped my watch but I was puzzled to see that the minute mark was still 59 minutes.  I quickly realized that my previous glance was at my split time!  My overall time was 1:59:17, a 9:11 average pace!

The run was hard and I’m glad.  I don’t want to have easy runs because I won’t progress.  I’d like to be able to be comfortable running 20 miles at a time but it’ll be quite a while before that happens.  I am comfortable with distances of 13-15 miles now.  That’s a huge improvement over one year ago.  Also I feel much better at the end of these runs than I did a year ago.

Next week I’ll be running the Boilermaker.  That’s throwing a bit of a wrench into my marathon training plan.  I’m supposed to run a 14 mile long run that day.  The Boilermaker is only a 15k.  When I will probably do is run a long run in the middle of the week — no later than Thursday.  I’m more concerned about marathon training than I am about tapering for a great Boilermaker time.  I know I’ll be happy with my time at the Boilermaker and I really don’t feel the need to try to optimize it this year.

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