The run this morning was a mixed bag.
I traversed the six-mile Cotton Row course once again.
As I stepped out the door and 5:45, I found that in addition to the 51 degree coolness, it was drizzling.
So, it was back into the house to adjust the outfit by adding my "rain cover".
My rain cover is an old nylon anorak, which, while not "waterproof" does keep all but the mightiest downpours off of my inner layers.
Also, I have just acquired a new nylon ball cap made for running in the wet.
I thought this would be the perfect morning to try it out.
Well, sort of.
By the time I got the the parking lot of the VBC, the rain had all but stopped.
But the dark clouds looked ready to supply more at any moment, so I kept the rain gear on.
The official start time today was 5:57:18.
I have no idea how I remember these trivial numbers, but I do.
The goal, again today, was to beat the 59 minute time of a few weeks ago.
The rain (which was virtually gone now) clothes would not help.
The cool weather required long pants and long sleeves.
But I had pulled on my medium-weight top, which would have been just dandy for a dry, windless jaunt - but not under my rain top.
The proper top layer under the rain cover is one of my light-weight Coolmax tops.
And, though I felt toasty in the first quarter mile, I knew in my heart that I had over-dressed.
(I hate that...)
So, I was not out of Mile One before I was pulling zippers down to vent Steevee heat.
Then the hat came off.
And late into mile three, the mesh gloves were shed. (shedded? sheddened?)
Fortunately, my rain anorak has a kangaroo pocked and I stuffed all my unneeded accouterments into it, otherwise I would have looked like the Rag Man.
I walked up the first half of The Hill, doing my usual (lately) heel raises.
Bankhead Parkway was so covered with wet leaves that I could not see the sidewalk for long periods.
And the leaves were slimy and slippery in places.
And then.... my left knee/thigh started acting like it wanted to lay down and rest a while.
This was not a muscle problem (although the quadraceps muscles were acting like they did not want to contract), nor a connective tissue issue (like that?).
It was some sort of neurological malfunction.
Running Central, Coach, and Runner held a hastily arranged conference.
The decision was to keep going at pace until something deteriorated further.
It was a good decision.
As in virtually all other cases of impending physical disaster during a run, this problem went away.
By the time I had arrived at Pratt Avenue, I was chugging along like a teenager with nary a leg problem in sight.
When I turned onto Clinton Avenue the second time (at the parking garage) the predicted/promised cold wind hit me in the face and I was glad I had my rain cover on.
That wind would have blown right through my mesh top, had it been my only layer.
Up to that point I had a nice light sweat going.
Not no mo.
The last quarter mile was a good steady push against the wind and the clock.
But, alas, the effort was insufficient - 6:59:25 - 62 minutes.
When I got home and was walking into the house, my left knee had plenty to say about abuse and pain and whatnot.
That was when I realized that my problem may be a nerve that crosses my knee or stimulates my quadriceps.
Anyway, after I nice hot shower everyone was happy and quiet.
.... for those of you who were wondering what I was referring to when I mentioned my Cephalic veins (which are still coming out a few more nanometers each day) and Dara Torres, here is what I was typing about:
Dara with her hair pulled back and her Cephalic tubes in full bloom.
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