Trolled by a skunk, or, a painful 4 miles

I’ve seen better runs in a pair of…well, never mind that.

Mile 1, 0:9:40 pace:  Brutal.  By the time I’m running past the Tubbs house (right next door to me), I know this is going to be a tough one.  I’m slow, achy (left hamstring), and doing about an 11 minute mile.  I just feel so stiff and inflexible.  I know that some of this will pass.  This is the benefit of having run for 12 years.  I know when to keep moving and when to stop (don’t I?)

Mile 2, 0:8:54 pace:  I’ve finally set into a pace and am able to hold a slightly faster mile.  I start to relax and enjoy the scene unfold in front of me.  I had to get up at 5:50 am for this run, because my work (OC Tanner) is taking us to the new movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, this morning, at 8:30.  So it’s darker than normal and I’m reminded that when the winter descends on us in Utah, I’ll be running in the dark almost every morning.  A pre-eminent shiver moves through me.

While taking this all in a rustling on my right side catches my attention.  I have startled a skunk, who is staring me down, daring me to get closer.  By the time I’ve registered the potential threat, I’ve moved past it.

Mile 3, 0:8:33 pace:  It takes me over a few minutes before I can calm down and get over it.  Do I stink?  Is it ok to stop another runner to ask (‘No’ is the correct answer.)  I’m moving better, but I still deal with that hamstring.  I start to wonder if tomorrow’s long run is going to really hurt, or if tomorrow will be a new day, body-wise.  It occurs to me how many times I’ve been surprised by a run.  Like the day after a brutal run, sometimes I feel great.  Other times I might have taken a couple of days off, but the day I go for that first comeback run, I can barely finish three miles.  So I take a leap of faith and decide to complete all for miles (I’m sort of passed this point, but these are the thoughts I think.)

Mile 4, 0:8:40 pace:  Just got to finish this up.  My watch reports that I have plenty of time to get home, shower, dress and head for the train, which will take me almost right to the movie at The Gateway in Salt Lake City.  I try to relax, but man, my hamstring.  My mind diverts for just a moment as Will Ferrel’s voice echoes in my head “HAMBONE!!!”  Not sure why.  I’m tired.  My mind is wandering.

I finally arrive home and sneak in the house.  It’s barely 6:40 am and I know that everyone’s asleep.  My day has just begun, but at least I’ve got a decent 17 miles for the week.  Tomorrow will determine what my total week’s mileage comes to.  I’m sure I’ll hit my goal of 25.

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