I have decided, as I noted in my last post, to move straight into training for the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon, later this fall. Having that very distant race as a goal let me set up a plan with the full 16 week training that got me my sub 2 hour race at Pittsburgh. Plus, it took away the stress of finding a 5k, which was bothering me way more than the actual idea of running one as hard as I could. When I realized that, the choice was easy. Back to the headline though; It wasn’t speed that I have been lying to myself about. It wasn’t training plans. It wasn’t even the validity of stopwatching myself on a wheeled course and calling that a 5k PR.
It was milkshakes.
Yes, milkshakes. Or pizza. Or cheeseburgers, or tall beers and appetizers. Or just stopping around the next corner, or at the upcoming driveway.
You have to understand. My long run yesterday was a scorcher. It was 90+ degrees, and nothing about running in the Midwest trains you to run in heat. I started out with the spring in my step that coffee and sunshine give me. I felt the first mile breeze past, arrogantly thinking “10:20 easy pace seems so slow, why, I’m warming up and I’m happily under 10:00”. Soon, all my optimism about training paces, and racing goals was just melted out of me. At mile 2, before I turned around, I was counting the distance back to my car, and the water fountain nearby. By mile 3, I had started making alternate plans; fantasizing about stopping a car or a bike rider and asking them for water. I finally stopped in a bathroom to get a drink of water from the sink, only found out that this restroom was not a full bathroom but a latrine style unplumbed building. That’s when I started lying to myself.
“You can have a cheeseburger for lunch. With fries. And a beer. You just need to get back to the car, and you’ll be near 6 miles. Then just three more. I swear, you can have an appetizer before the cheeseburger. Dessert after too. And a milkshake. Maybe they have milkshakes at Twisted Rooster. If they don’t, you can get one on the way home. But if you stop at the car, you have to go home and eat cereal for lunch. You want a cheeseburger, don’t you?”
Normally I’m a little more subtle than this, but my audience was pretty fatigued so I don’t think they noticed either:
A.) My blatant bribery.
B.) The sickening amount of calories I had just promised myself. (Way more than a measly 3 mile extension would justify.)
C.) That I was completely lying.
The rest of the run was a slog. A slog that slowed to a walk at times, and even if I lie to myself, I’ll be honest to you. I haven’t stopped to walk during a run in recent memory, and I didn’t want to stop then. The heat made my decision for me.
And at the end, what did I get? I got a burger, no cheese. Side of asparagus. A pint of Bell’s Oberon. Quite a bit of food for lunch, though I ended up having a light dinner in recompense.
No milkshakes. Lying bastard.