Happy Friday everyone! This week flew by so fast.
Yesterday was a new adventure for us. After years of discussing buying bikes my husband bit the bullet and decided it was time to get one before we head out of town for a few days. Together we did a nice two hour walk down to Old Town to The Village Cycle. Thanks to their helpful service he was able to quickly pick one out and opted for a few changes to be made.
While we were waiting for the bike to be ready I wandered down the street and found Plum Market! One of my fave bloggers at Suzlyfe had recently mentioned that she loved this place. So I popped my head in. She didn’t tell me that there would be awesome samples all over the place. By the time my husband called me to ask where I was all I could say was, “Eating pie.” He burst out laughing, asked where, and made mention of how much he loved me. I kid you not.
Well, as we wandered (and kept sampling) I came across some goodies from one of my favorite wineries L. Mawby. He is located up in Northern Michigan and makes some amazing sparkling wine. I hadn’t tried the Green yet, so I HAD to get a bottle. Just in case you are wondering, it was delicious and almost reminiscent of tart green apples.
When the bike was ready, and I was done sampling, we headed out. My husband rode his bike and I was going to run home. We headed from the bike shop towards the Lincoln Park Zoo and then over to the Lakefront Trail. It was super windy on the water yesterday and I decided to just relax and do a nice easy pace. Having him following me on the bike made me feel a bit like I had the Secret Service on my tail. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel pretty bad ass. Want to mess with me on my run? I’ve got my secret weapon riding quietly behind me!
Once I got into my groove I decided that it was a good day for an 8 mile run and as I settled in I felt comfortable with a decent pace. By mile 3 my pace was consistent and then some young guy hopped on the trail right in front of me. It was clear that I was running just a tad faster than him and I slowly moved up in front of him, but apparently he had other plans. You know when you have been following a car in a 55 mile an hour zone and he is doing 50 and you finally hit the passing lane and the dude decides he doesn’t like you passing and speeds up til you are out of the passing lane? That seemed to be how this guy operated.
At first I was slightly annoyed but I knew I was holding a steady pace and I was running just slightly faster than him. I have been slowly coming back from my injury and speed has not been a concern. I have acknowledged deep down inside that I am not going to be ready speed-wise for a marathon this fall. So I had to do a serious ego check at this point. Was I trying to race this guy? No, I just wanted to stick with my strong pace. So finally I made the decision to push the speed up a little bit and get around him.
I sped up and held that faster pace for about a half a mile until I knew that I was ahead of this guy by quite a bit. I eased back into my pace and continued on my way. Wouldn’t you know that only a minute or two later he came whizzing past and pulled right in front of me…….and slowed back down to his slower pace! The competitive me wanted to say, “Bring it on” and have an all out running battle at this point. But I honestly just wanted to get my darn run in and see how 8 miles at this pace would go on a windy and humid evening.
My husband rode past us on his bike to find a spot to stop for a bit and when I passed him I looked over and mouthed, “This guy…..seriously!” He burst out laughing. Apparently he had been watching this happen for 3 miles and said he was almost to the point of pulling up to the guy and saying something. Instead I finally decided to slow my pace just under what he was running and finish without getting angry.
I did notice that the guy wasn’t wearing a GPS, but I was, so I knew that I was running a consistent pace. It made me think of an article from the New York Times that my brother-in-law sent to me the day before. Take a look, and ladies I think you might agree! If you don’t feel like reading this short article, the gist is that research shows that women may be better at pacing marathons than men. It seems that men might tend to go out harder in the first half of the race and then fade for the second portion. They do also mention something about body composition and carbohydrates…..
This happened to me another time where I was running a trail race up Bear Mountain in New York and in the final half of the race I was approaching a different gentleman. For a few minutes I was quickly approaching him and when I went around to pass he suddenly sped up. As I pushed my speed he continued to push his. I was so ticked off and this time since I was racing and knew I was running faster than him, I decided to go for it. That was until I rolled my ankle and heard it snap. I screamed in pain. My husband was behind me and we both panicked because we thought I had broken my ankle. With a rush of adrenaline I put weight on it and realized it was just a sprain. We continued the race (the guy let me pass at this point, if you were wondering) and I arrived at the finish with one ugly ankle.
Before I leave you I will admit to being the jerk once. When I first started running longer distances I thought I was pretty hot stuff doing two laps around Central Park on a Sunday afternoon. On my second lap a guy came up behind me and I decided that this “speed machine” wasn’t going to let him pass. So I sped up. For the remaining four miles I kept pushing faster and faster so that we were neck and neck. In my head I truly assumed that he must be impressed by my incredible speed and ability to stick with him. Now, I hang my head with embarrassment and send out an apology if you happen to be reading this. I was that jerk that wouldn’t let you pass by me so that you could simply enjoy your Sunday afternoon run.
I guess we all need an ego check sometimes……