My dirty little secret.

Okay, I have a vice:

Just for the taste of it....

Just for the taste of it....

I don’t like it from the can or from a bottle. I like the fountain drink version. This means I have to feed my addiction at places like McDonald’s. I got hooked back during the 2000 Boston Marathon. It’s a great dietary supplement before a long run. Keeps me going. And going. And going.

Before this, I would just have an occasional Tab. Yes, Tab. Love it. Was elated when they took saccharin off the list of carcinogens. Yeah yeah, I know it’s all bad, but I like it. I’m a vegetarian and eat mostly organic, so I think I lead a pretty good lifestyle. I would like to cut the umbilical cord to my diet Coke addiction once my marathon training is over. I swear. Really.

Anyway, after having a great week of running like I was floating on air, I seemed to hit a wall on Thursday. During the day, I experienced a cramp in my left calf. I tried to stretch it out to no avail. I went to Crossroads hoping it would subside, but it didn’t. It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t run, but bothersome enough to be a pain. I hooked up with an old running buddy Tom. He actually was there when I blew my knee out during a training long run for the 2007 Boston Marathon (along with Steve). Tom’s a better and faster runner than I, but he wanted to do an 8:40 pace, so I was down with that.

It was a bit labored, but possibly because the pace was just too fast given the circumstances.  Possibly I was overdressed for the 5o degree night.  Possibly I was dehydrated because I didn’t drink any water prior to leaving Crossroads.  Something I always do.  I’m going to buy a fuel belt this week so I can have some water or other energy drink for my long runs.  At a minimum, I should have stopped at a store on the way to the subway and hydrated on the trip out to Woodland. I didn’t want to take any of Tom’s, but I broke down just before the mile 7 mark and asked for some. You can see the difference it made as our pace increased right after that point.

So, here’s what we did:

Mile 1: 8:47
Mile 2: 8:01
Mile 3: 8:27
Mile 4: 8:19
Mile 5: 8:37
Mile 6: 8:36
Mile 7: 8:29
Mile 8: 8:17
Mile 8.8: 7:54

This is an 8:23 pace. It felt fine, though my calf is still feeling a tad tight, so I’m resting over the weekend. I’m going to ramp up my mileage and try and find a bunch of road races to keep me busy until the marathon.

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