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Better with Friends

June 9, 2009

Went out for my long run on Saturday intending to run fourteen miles. I went south on A1A and realized quickly that my right leg was not going to be into the program–it was feeling tired and uncooperative. I wondered whether, after a couple of miles of running with the tight neoprene brace, it was maybe just time to lose it–so at mile 1½, I sat down on the curb and removed it. I wrapped it as tightly as I could and decided to run that way for a while.

It felt instantly much better. Had water at the 2-mile mark. At 4 miles I had a chance to turn and drop the brace off at the car, but meh. I decided I’d rather just keep going . . . another 10 miles. With the brace. It really doesn’t weigh anything, it was just a matter of switching it from one hand to the other. I tried to be good as I ran about getting water every other mile or so; I wasn’t terribly thirsty but I knew since I hadn’t started til after 6 that the heat would be rising as I ran.

At the turnaround I ran into Chip (his name has been changed, of course, to protect his privacy). He’s a perennial winner in his masters age group, and I was happy to see him turn around to keep me company on the way home. Since I know he’s been running for a long time, and he usually either beats me or comes in just behind me in our local races, I asked him for summer training advice. I asked him if he cut down his distances or ran less intensely during the summer. His answer: he’s trying to run 16 on Saturday and 12 on Sunday, as an experiment. He’ll see how that goes this year. Wow, he’s a real inspiration. Run went much more smoothly, if slightly more slowly, after we met up. The miles flew by as we talked, and we did stop for water every other mile. Thank God for good friends.

On Sunday I ran 6 easy miles alone, putting them in at about 9:30 pace. Took Monday off, as was the plan. Today, I got up super early to go out with Little G, and we ran 6½ at 9:03 pace, yet somehow that didn’t feel punishing. We conversed the whole way on the road.

Right knee feels great, and I can’t wait to get back out.

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