Let the Royal Chronicles show that I went the distance this morning.
You may recall that last week I had the six mile goal in mind when I started out, but internal discussion kept the distance to the usual 4.45 miles.
This morning was different.
As I stepped out of the house, I felt light rain drops on my face.
Hmm, an added element to the session, I thought.
There were already enough issues to deal with for this session.
I was dealing with some minor digestive issues, the result of overindulgence the previous evening.
There was a men's group cookout at church Friday evening and I love grilled hamburgers and it is the only way I like hot dogs cooked.
So, I had two hamburgers and a hot dog and a nice fizzy, foamy cup of root beer - my favorite sugar drink.
I spent much of the evening, later, feeling excessively engorged.
Later, I had a little ice cream to help sooth the gastric hyperinflation.
I did not sleep as well as I would have liked (prolly because of the intestinal processing), and when the alarm went off at its usual 4:58 this morning, I felt like I would prefer another hour in the sack.
But I extricated myself from the Royal Bed and began my morning ablutions.
I checked my thermometer on the back porch and in the dim light it read about 67 degrees.
Not as cool as I expected.
A few seconds later I felt the rain.
The jog began at 6:04 in a very light rain.
This was one of those days to which I committed myself back in 1999, when I was sitting on the side of my bed pondering if I was going to become a "runner" or not.
Running in the rain was one of those circumstances that I promised I would do, even though I would prefer not to.
To add to the distress, my lower back was not liking the slightly sway-back angle in which I like it to be when I run.
So we have tummy issues, tiredness issues, weather issues, and back issues.
There was the faint flicker of a thought that I might not even be able to complete the 4.45 mile distance with all the little nagging negatives nattering at me.
But Running Central sent out the terse, clear message that all decisions about less distance will be dealt with later, at the time a decision must be made.
With that settled, my whining back did not find peace until well into the first mile, just before Hill one.
And the first hill was surmounted with nary a hint of accelerated breathing.
A good sign.
Hill Two was accomplished with equal strength.
And mile two and three were soon consumed.
As I approached the intersection of Discovery and Explorer, there was a quick huddle between Runner, Running Central, and Coach.
The question - do we go for six miles?
The negatives - lack of training, possible injury, the rain still coming down, tiredness from lack of good rest last night.
The positives - we used to run this distance on THIS course regularly, runner wants to try, nothing is hurting now.
As I turned left onto Discovery Drive I was curious about the challenge I was about to take on.
I was a bit amused at the less-than-ideal circumstances of this task.
But here we go.
I had not gone a quarter of a mile when the hamstrings in both of my legs began to whine.
This is nonsense, came the response from Running Central.
And after a few more steps, the hammy whinny went away.
I flirted with accelerated breathing off and on, but managed to keep my respiration in my comfort zone.
I motored on and early into mile 5 (five!) my left hip began to announce a dull ache with each stride.
I wondered if Arthur was stalking me.
No doubt he was/is but today was not going to be the day he takes me down.
Running Central sent out an "Ignore" order.
And then I was into mile 6.
About mid way into the last mile, accelerated breathing kicked in for the duration, but it was not as uncomfortable as it has felt is previous parties.
Maybe I had bounced all those hamburgers and hot dogs down into a more comfortable disposition.
In spite of some low level left hip squeaking, I entered the last parking lot feeling like Superman.
I even sprinted to the finish line/crack.
I looked down at my watch, expecting over an hour duration.
Less than one hour.
Seven minutes less than an hour.
Six miles (minus 264 feet) in fifty-three minutes.
I was shocked, amazed and elated.
I could hardly wait to get home and write this.
I will pay for this episode.
I expect soreness later today and tomorrow.
Nothing crippling, just a nuisance.
Just to make sure that my distance was correct, I drove my car around the added loop I ran today.
It was exactly 1.5 miles. (thus, 1.5 + 4.45 = 5.95)
I will find a way to pick up that 264 feet....