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42 Ks in 42 Days 

Day 30 – Old Age Pension = Penchant for Pain

So I have descended into the depth’s of urban hipster hell by lugging my laptop into a coffee shop. No, it’s not Starbucks – I didn’t fall that far – but it’s still in public, and if anyone I know sees me in here typing away, I’ll feel a little embarrassed. Maybe I would be less embarrassed if I wasn’t surfing wrestling websites, but that’s beside the point.

It seems that every time I catch up on my blog writing I celebrate by taking a day off. I tried to write last night, but I was exhausted when I got home and ended up going to bed at 11, which is at least two hours earlier than my usual bedtime. I guess that 37-kilometer run took more out of me than I thought. Hopefully this taper allows me some time to rest my head as well as my muscles.

My muscles didn’t feel too hot during yesterday’s run. I joined the Running Room group after a long day at work (I had to go back after I was finished my run, but that’s a story for another blog) and found myself running without Jerry and Andrew in tow for the first time in a couple of weeks.

I did, however, find a formidable partner in George Pothier. For those of you who don’t know who he is, George is a 68-year-old running machine who has already completed 7 marathons this year and is running Legs for Literacy with me in November. And – get this – I won’t be surprised if he finishes ahead of me in the standings. He ran the Boston Marathon in 3:36:56, and can easily keep up with runners half his age in most races.

George already had 8 kilometers in his legs when we left the Running Room (he did a speed session at the SMU track, if you can imagine), but within ten minutes he was pulling away from me. I was still feeling the ill effect of Sunday’s run, so I considered letting him go, but at the same time I didn’t want to get schooled by George on an easy run. I kept pace for about five kilometers, but he sprinted through a yellow light with two other runners and I lost touch with him.

When the light turned green my competitive spirit kicked in and I found myself picking up the pace, trying to catch George’s group without being too obvious about my intentions. I pushed the speed limit on the downhills, and moved quickly around pedestrians. My legs actually felt better at the faster pace, and slowly but surely I found myself closing the gap. Excellent.

I finally caught George’s gang at the corner of Quinpool and Bell. They were stuck at a light, and greeted my warmly when I arrived. “Where’d you go,” George asked warmly, and I briefly explained the light situation while trying to sound totally relaxed. Of course, I had to run quite fast to catch up, but that detail was left on the cutting room floor. Never let your competition see you sweat, not even if it’s a 68-year-old.

Anyway, I am not letting my gung ho attitude get the best of me until the marathon. No need to waste excess energy on easy runs when I have 42 kilometers looming in the horizon. From now on it’s race pace or slower until the starting line. I don’t care how many senior citizens pass me in the process.

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