Last night was a scheduled “easy run” with June.
Slacking off on the middle miles is a sin that I know I commit while running and by allowing June to pace me for “like 4 miles” would help atone for that particular sin. It did.
But first, let me say a little something about distances that are “like” other distance. Back in 2005 when I ran the Sugarland 30k (and had to sprint to the registration table because I forgot to collect my race chip), I was told that a 30k is “like 18 miles”. “Cool”, I think to myself, “I ran 3 yesterday for a good tune up and should be able to knock this down, no sweat. I ran 13 a few weeks back, so what’s another 5 miles?”
Now, not yet being what you would call a “runner”, I was not quick with the 5k to 3.1 mile conversion math and never bothered to multiply 3.1 by 6 to get the actual distance. I just took the real runners’ word as gospel truth. To me a kilometer was as relevant as a dram, stone, or cubit.
That is, I took their word as gospel truth until I reached the 18 mile marker and saw no finish line anywhere near where I was.
“Like 18 miles” my ass. It’s “like 19 miles”. Or, more accurately, like 18.6 miles. So very much like 18.6 miles that it is, in fact, 18.6 miles.
So, back to yesterday’s run that was “like 4 miles”. I immediately ask for clarification of whether or not “like 4 miles” was really 4.8 or 3.8 or some other horridly evil distance. June assured me that it was actually closer to 3.8 (3.76 is what it turned out to be). I knew what distance I was up against, and we were off.
What I didn’t know is that I’d be paced by a flat out machine.
June kept us pegged at 10:00 minute miles for the whole route. No slacking off for this fat white guy. The first mile whipped by at 9:59, the second at 9:51, and the final mile and change at 10:05. At one point, after crossing a street and well into my tired stretch of the run, she sped up.
That’s right. She sped up. It was just for a few paces, and I don’t think she intended to do it, but I called her an evil witch anyway (through a gasping smile). She came close to breaking me, but I needed that in a bad way.
Nonetheless, I had just enough in the tank at the end to sprint to our cars.
It was a good run. A very good run, even. And June isn’t an evil witch… she’s a good witch and a pacing machine.