Today I have only myself to blame for my misery. I went out for "a couple" beers with some friends and before you know it, they were taking turns buying the group shots. Of course it would be rude of me to turn these down when they came to the table. Needless to say, the evening was fun, the morning.....not so much.
I was scheduled to run 8 miles today. Luckily I had the day off and was finally able to roll my tired ass out of bed and onto the bike path by shortly after ten a.m. I started off nice and easy with a pace of 8:38 for the first mile, pretty normal for my first "warm up" mile. The next three miles I actually felt good. I was light on my feet and ran a decent 8:15, 8:14, and 8:12. After 4 miles I was starting to wear down a bit, I slowed my pace in order to suck down a gel for some fuel and finished mile 5 in 8:27, then picked it up just a bit, running 8:19 for mile 6. By this time I was really starting to drag and feel the effects of last night. I didn't care what my pace was going to be. I zoned out and decided I would just hang on the best I could for the last two miles, but then it happened. I was jolted out of my running stupor when a young lady in a 2009Twin Cities Marathon training shirt blazed past me. I guessed that she was probably running a little better than 8 minute miles at the time so I figured, what the hell, I'm going to quit feeling sorry for my hung over ass and let her set my pace for the last mile and a half to finish strong.
Somebody had obviously sent her to motivate me! She was moving a little faster than I had originally thought, but I kept up with her fairly well. We crossed over the bridge by the 4 mile marker and rounded the corner. Just up ahead of her we spooked a little white tailed doe next to the bike path and it started bounding ahead of us. It then ran onto the trail and stopped right in the middle, then when it saw us still heading its way, it turned and ran off again, finally disappearing into the trees. Motivator #2, how cool is it to run with a doe?!
Feeling pretty decent and forgetting my hangover pain, I finished mile 7 in 8:10. Motivator #1 turned around and headed back the other way with about half a mile remaining in my run. I was a little disappointed but grateful and somewhat relieved, like I said, she wasn't slacking like I was. I did not push it quite as much the last half mile, but still finished strong with a 7:35 pace on my last mile!
I am glad to be done with my run, but also grateful for the two motivators that were sent my way to help me finish strong.