So D and I had a very busy Saturday since Georgia Tech games are scheduled at Noon or 12:30 again.
After figuring out what time I had to be at Tech to get my drink on, I concluded that I had to be at the Silver Comet Trail at 6am. I told D this plan, and he just looked at his phone (I texted it to him of course). I told him he could sleep an hour and start, but he said, "No, we're a team. We do this together." So another Friday asleep by 9PM, and we woke up at 515. He walked the dogs while I ate breakfast and we left.
Got to the park and there was something I didn't think of. It was pitch black out. There were 2 other cars in the lot. Considering I go by my watch to see when to run/walk, I was kind of wondering. D said to listen to 3 songs, and then light my watch and walk that minute. I could do that. I was adjusting my phone, my iPod, and my granola bar thins in my pants (again no pockets). We got to MM0 and started running. Immediately the Granola bugged me. I had to shift stuff around. Then the iPod volume changed (it is on its last legs and has no lock anymore). So I had to fix that 3 times. Finally, I got all that situated. And yes, I did it all while running.
Running while not being able to see is very strange. I used the white stripes on the path and the moon to help see. But the stripes were about all I could see. I ran on the stripe and hoped no biker was up this early. I tried not to think of strange men jumping out, snakes falling on my head, or dead tree limbs for me to trip over. I wondered if when I got to mile 2 if I would fall in the hole in the bridge. Anyway Mile 1 came and it was 15 minutes. I chalked up the poor time to all the fidgeting at the beginning.
During the next mile, a lot of people passed me (like 8). Both ways. Some had head lamps, some were solo. All said, "Good morning." I focused on the breeze (it was 58 degrees), and how I was feeling. I wondered how D was doing. I finished Mile 2, and then crossed the bridge. The moon lit up the hole in the bridge (where the wood is separated from the asphalt) and I got over it. Mile 3 continued to be in the middle of the path. The slant of the road is big right here. I thought I was running a decent pace. Unfortunately I hit Mile 2.97 before a tunnel, and mile 3.01 on the other side. No clue to speed it up or slow it down.
I got up to the Bike Depot. There was a lot of traffic (car) and you could see groups getting ready to to go out. It was now light out. I began wondering when I should take a granola bar. I felt fine, although I felt my pace was slower than normal. At mile 4.6, I ran over a spray painted mark, "Love is Forever." Then, I passed D (who was returning) at mile 4.7, so I knew either we were the same pace as we were last time we ran 12 (we passed each other at this point) and we either both sped up or were the same. I decided we were the same pace. I forgot about Mile 5 and forgot to look at my watch. Another not knowing to speed up or slow down. I felt ok. Mile 6, I could finally see my watch. The pace was crazy. It was 4:58, 10:17. 9:28. I KNOW I can't run at any of those paces, so it was just the GPS bouncing off the trees (you are in a deep crevice in this area). I just kept running. I looked down at 6.1 and realized I had to turn around.
I ran until the watch got a 9 on it, and then walked, and ate my granola bar. It was crumbly, the chocolate was melted, and it was hard to eat. There was nothing else exciting about it. As I ran back through the crevice, the pace times were still all wonky. Ran back and saw "Love is Forever" sign and smiled.
By now, I was bored. There were a lot of bikers out. And a lot of running groups. I seemed to run out of things to think about. Then I passed a woman in a Get Fit Atlanta shirt. I thought about my friend Jen, and how she epitomizes class. She participated in IMWisconsin last week. Due to a bike equipment failure, she didn't finish. Yet, she stayed out on the course and cheered all her teammates/friends on. She was angry because she said she was hydrated fine, she had energy, and she was trained. And the bike messed her up. She is already an Iron Man, but all that training for an equipment failure? Even when she said it on FB, I wanted to reach through the screen and give her a hug. If I were there, I would have taken her for a beer. But no. What did she do? She got cleaned up, and helped her teammates and rallied them on. She is the same woman who when I did my tri, stood in the rain and took pictures of me finishing even though her husband had finished 45 minutes before I did (he ran the 5K with me). I hope she continues TRI-ing. I know right now, she is focusing on ultra marathons.
And with that contemplation I was at 9.5 miles. I decided to have my other granola bar. I had now stopped paying attention to my pace, just the 9:1. I got back to the bridge, and notices a ton of people out. I decided I liked running in the dark. I felt much stronger in the last 2 miles. I wondered if I should have picking up the pace earlier. Again, I missed the 10 mile pace. I was down to less than 2 miles, and focused on keeping my legs up. Which made me think that my butt hurt. I needed to think about something else. I passed a woman with a Great Pyrenees who only had 3 legs. And they were running. I decided if the dog could run on 3 legs, I certainly could on the 2 I had. Then I decided I was delirious comparing his 3 legs with my 2. Then I got sad that my dogs couldn't come to the football game with us. And Mile 11 was done. Delirium and all.
The last mile I seemed to pass people who passed me previously. I wasn't going fast (to me). Was there something I didn't know that they all did? Well, I decided if I ran, I would find out sooner. I wondered if D was walking the path to meet me (no). I wondered if the people standing in the path in front of me tossing a football in the air (multiple footballs) were going to move (no). I wondered if they were mad, that I assumed they would've moved and ran into one of them (I don't know). I saw another running group going out. Haha! I'm almost done. I got passed by a guy wearing an All3Sports biking shirt on a bike without a helmet. I wondered if he knew he was a dipshit. Finally, I could stop wondering all things. 12 miles was done!
I walked a little ways and saw D. I didn't realize he was hurt, and was a little irritated he was just standing there with a Gatorade. It seemed like a cruel joke. He started limping over to me, and I grabbed the Gatorade. I asked him how his run was, and he said, "Shitty." That's when I noticed he was limping. He thinks his shoes aren't padded right. Off to New Balance tomorrow to get an insert. If that doesn't work, he will return his shoes. He said the ones with 400+miles are more comfortable (they are worn, and he does need new shoes). So hopefully he can get that settled. He said he was on pace to beat the 2 hour time limit until the last 3 miles. His last mile was 16+minutes.
I'm worried about him.
So we got home at 10. We walked the pups and showered. No time for makeup (or SPF protection). Sunglasses, beer, tickets, and we were off. Got to Tech at 1045. Not bad.
And Tech smacked the shit out of Kansas. So yay!
I looked at my times this morning. I need to speed it up!
12 Mile Comparison: 2010 and 2011
2010 April2011 September2011
Mile 1: 13:48 14:14 15:00
Mile 2: 14:19 14:19 14:32
Mile 3: 14:31 14:02 14:08
Mile 4: 14:36 13:35 14:07
Mile 5: 14:21 12:54 13:44
Mile 6: 15:28 14:22 14:02
Mile 7: 16:05 13:52 15:07
Mile 8: 15:17 13:59 14:15
Mile 9: 16:09 13:37 14:16
Mile 10: 16:17 13:20 14:02
Mile 11: 18:04 13:52 13:39
Mile 12: 18:03 14:05 13:55
Total: 3:07:03 (15:35/mi) 2:46:14 (13:51/mi) 2:50:55(14:14/mi)