Ah, Sunday long run. I didn't have as much trouble getting myself out the door today, as I knew this was my last run before I (hopefully) get some help. Our group was smaller today. Emily and Kathy are out of town, as is Magnus (in London--lucky!). Wes and Scott were being trail snobs. That left me, Tim, dad, and Bill to run the rough roads of Lawrence county. The weather was very nice, and actually a bit too warm for such a long run. But I'm not complaining. Tim, Bill, and I were planning 20. Dad wasn't sure if he'd do 20 or peel off at 17. All were in shorts this week, and the Truebloods/Millers were in singlets. Bill, being a bit cold natured, had on short sleeves.
The run started out well, and at a relaxed pace. I noticed the right-sided pain really kicking in around the second mile, but it wasn't too bad. Until we got to the I street hill. Sometimes, when I exert myself beyond very easy running, my pain gets a lot worse. That happened on this hill. So I was the caboose on that one. After that, though, it settled down quite a bit. I'd say it was a 4/10...and, sad to say, that's pretty good for me at this point. This is about when we started playing the game. What game, you ask? Bill's waving game. We were introduced to it last week, but this week we got serious about it. Here's how it works. You wave at oncoming cars, and if the person waves back at you, you get a point. If the person doesn't wave back at you, you lose a point. If the person flips you off, you get FIVE points. And the same if you get a high five.
At first, Bill was getting most of the points. Dad got a few, too. Then Tim decided he'd just run in front of all of us and get everyone to wave at him. Well into the run, I decided to challenge him. Every time we heard a car up, I'd bolt in front of him. As long as I got my arm in front of him, as well as a wave back, I got a point. I racked up a ton of points, and Tim had a lot too. Bill slid into third, and dad was a distant fourth.
Around the 10 mile mark, my left side started hurting. For some reason, when the left side hurts, it hurts badly. It was sharp. I distracted myself with racking up as many points as I could. Before I knew it, we were at the base of Slaughter House Hill--just two miles from home. I think Tim and I were pretty much tied for first at this point. But Bill hadn't given up. As we got back into town, he started playing dirty.
We went past Bill's house, and there happened to be his wife, Leisa, outside. He got a WAVE, a HIGH FIVE, and a KISS from her! No fair. Then, as we did a little loop around N Street, he yelled out "Hey, Kids!" to a group of kids playing outside. They all, like it was a reflex, turned and waved at him. Crap! My sides were hurting so bad but somehow I was having fun with this game. We dropped dad off at the house (it turned out 17 was all he wanted, and he was calling the horses the last couple of miles). Then the three of us headed out for 3 more miles.
My legs felt great. A little stiff at this point, but not at all a problem. I could pick it up if I wanted (were it not for the pain), and that's a good feeling that far into a 20. Anyway, Tim and I knew that our only opportunity to pass up Bill would be on Lincoln Avenue. Tim got several points, but there were also a lot of people who wouldn't wave at him. So I took over. And no one, and I mean NO ONE, would wave at me. I got myself into a hole. I was trying everything. Bill hypothesized that men driving in cars with their wives wouldn't dare wave at a female runner. Then he wanted us to conduct an experiment--we moved to the side walk instead of the road. Perhaps the lack of waves was due to irritation about us being in the road? Well, he was right. I got considerably more waves running on the sidewalk...but never enough to pass Bill. I'm not sure what the final score was, but what with using his wife and the neighborhood kids to boost his score, I think Bill won.
We finished up. We averaged an 8:20 pace, which may look slow but really isn't given the terrain we were on. My sides were really hurting after the run, and they still do. That happens sometimes--when it gets bad at the end of the run (and the last two miles of this run were the worst), it will hurt for hours afterward, even to the touch. Heading to Chicago in the morning. I hope to be able to give you an epic blog post when I get home. Thank you all for pulling for me--I can feel it.