If you look closely at this photo, you can see the salt that my body purges while I'm out on a long run. Last Saturday's salt levels weren't particularly bad, as it wasn't very hot, but it was the first time I remembered to take a picture of it. I'm surprised that small woodland animals aren't running up to me for a lick.
Last Saturday was my last big long run before Tahoe. 22 miles. I'm happy to say that I will not be running another such run for at least 9 months. Remember, I'm on the one marathon a year program. During my long runs, I need something to keep my mind off the fact that I'll be running 22 miles. I've developed a real passion for running people down and not being passed. Prideful, yes. Distracting and fun, yes, yes.
I was moving along pretty well, picking people off one by one or in one case a huge group of people and then off in the distance I saw him, a runner about a half mile ahead of me. I was determined to get him. I slowly started to reel him in. Surprisingly, it took longer than expected. It was probably about four miles before I caught him. As I caught up to him, I could tell that this guy was a serious runner and also a little bit older than me. We were also both running sub-7 miles. As I drew abreast, he started talking to me. He asked how far I was going. I puffed out my chest and said, 22 miles. He laughed and told me to ask him how far he was going. I asked and he said 22 miles. It turned out we're both running marathons in three weeks. He then told me that he was shooting for a 2:55 marathon and that it would be sweet if he could do it because he was turning 51 on Monday and to PR right after turning 51 would be special.
I hope he didn't see my jaw drop. Wow. Amazing. I told him he was the man and then we chit chatted for another couple of minutes before we hit his turnaround point. I hope I'm still running strong at 51. If genetics have anything to do with it and they always do so I'm not too worried about it, then I'm sure I will be.
Now I told you that I like running people down and I don't like getting passed. Well, I don't remember the last time I was passed. It's probably because I treat every training run like a race, but what can you do. To run fast, you've gotta run fast. Well, at about mile 18, I heard footsteps behind me. My heart began to beat a little faster. No way is some chump that is out for a 3 mile run going to pass me at mile 18. I'm not a mark. I'm the marker. So I slowly sped up. I couldn't shake the guy. Finally after about a mile, I'm resigned to getting passed. It's going to happen. But the person won't pass me. At this point, I'm beginning to get annoyed. Just pass me already dammit. I refused to look back as I didn't want to see this person's smiling face as he toyed with me.
About a minute later, I realized that there was no one behind me. What I took for footsteps was in fact the sloshing of my two water bottles. My delusional already having run 19 miles mind was playing tricks on me. I was glad that no one was around, as I'm sure I turned an even brighter shade of red.
To infinity and beyond!