... this morning for the Saturday morning jog.
I managed to arrive right at 6:00AM and there was a gaggle of about 25 or 30 runners staged to start as I walked to the starting line.
The group started before I got to them.
I let them go on ahead because I did not want to run with a group.
The weather was about 70 degrees and very humid, typical for this place and season.
It was cloudy but did not look like it would rain on the parade.
The journey went well, for the most part.
Right ankle/foot was acting touchy for about half the party, but not so painful as to warrant any attention from Running Central, Coach.
Runner noted the issue and worked to adjust his stride so that the landing of that foot each time included a little extra rotation from back to front.
That seemed to ease the squeaking from the affected area.
My biggest problem this morning was breathing.
Even though I did not feel tired, I ran out of breathing capacity at the end of mile two.
I did my best not to try to catch the group running about a quarter-mile in front of me.
They made that pretty easy as they set a pretty stout pace.
I did manage to pass a couple of laggers during the course.
But my breathing rate moved from level two through level three on the hill at mile two and stayed there the rest of the run.
I had to work to keep it from going the level four, which I save for the end of the run.
I do not like this.
It means that I am not as strong (for running) as I need to be for the Big Race in eight days.
This may be caused by me re-arranging my weight workouts and adding some leg exercises back into the mix.
The weight work will make me stronger in an absolute sense, but will require extra recovery time.
Apparently I did not get enough recovery time this week.
But this does not explain my breathing difficulty last week.
Anyway, I will lay off the leg work this week in preparation for the big race.
I need all my Wheaties for the big event.
As I approached the start/finish area on Clinton Avenue, there was a huge crowd of runners standing around.
Apparently, there was another practice group staged to run the course.
I was breathing hard and could see the group as I covered the last half mile.
The closer I got the bigger the group looked.
I was in the street as usual and they were spread along the sidewalk and two lanes of the eastbound side of the street.
When I got within shouting distance I recognized several of the guys from past races.
There were actually two groups gathered there, one mostly men, and one behind of all women.
I estimated at least 150 or more.
And as "out of breath" as I felt, I managed to turn on a sprint to the finish line.
Some of the ladies called encouragement to me as I trotted past.
Somehow there is still enough teenager left in me to show off for a bunch of girls and I ran even faster.
The time across the finish line was 59:05.
Not bad for an old guy.