Thursday, December 4, 2014

Joel - Day 3 of 31 - 9.67% Complete

Day 3 - The best days of the Marcothon are the ones with friends. One critical component to running with friends is to show up at the correct location and correct time. My friends switch up times and routes. Not that often but often enough that it creates problems for people like myself who only read 25% of the post detailing when, where and how we will run. Sometimes I catch the critical details and other times I wish I'd read another 10-20% of the post so I'd have another piece of the puzzle to work with. 

I managed to show up at the correct location and was only 3 minutes late. The run was off to a decent start. I also caught a glimpse of the group as rounded the first curve in the road. Unfortunately my in depth study of the map only left me with a starting point and the fact that we'd be doing a large loop and a small loop to make the replica of a figure 8 drawn by a 3 year old. In other words, I didn't have a clue where they were going. 

Not a time for the indecisive, I jumped out of my warm car and raced into the night after the group leaving my gloves to keep the passenger seat warm. There was no sign of them at the first intersection but I figured they were unlikely to backtrack and proceeded towards Flossmoore Road. At the second intersection two strangers were verbally assaulted by an out of breath idiot wearing a bright orange hoodie looking for a group of people wearing miners lights. Fortunately, they had compassion, integrity and the knowledge that this illuminated group that had just run under the train tracks. (Lucky for me because I was going full steam ahead parallel without an additional clue.) Also lucky for me that the cars were watching out for crazed jayrunners and neglected to run me over.

As soon as I crossed below the tracks was faced with another choice. There were two routes we regularly run and no runners in sight. You would think a bunch of head light wearing people would be pretty easy to pick out on a dark street well after dusk. Unfortunately all the lights were only facing forward and their bodies were between me and my next clue. I was now beginning to resign myself to the prospect of completing the best run of the week alone. I was also beginning to breath like a mildly annoyed dragon. If I continued at this pace I wasn't going to last another mile. I picked my favorite route of the two but kept the pace figuring I could hang on for a couple more blocks. 

One block in I started to see light reflecting off of something. There were no tunnels nearby so there was still hope I would find my friends. I picked up the pace. Another block and I could make out the safety vest of someone running infront of the head lap wearing group. The gap was closing but I was getting more and more exhausted. Up ahead was the Braeburn Hill and Eric Bauer was in the group. Fortunately, Eric was out numbered and the group slowed down on the hill instead of breaking into a full on gallop. Having run with Eric and number of times I put my head down and charged the hill reeling them in just after the crest. By the time I caught them I was in full on jet engine taking off breathing mode but there was still another 2ish miles to reduce the pace, recover and enjoy my friends.

On the way back I lost the group again while enjoying conversation with the rear of the group. Apparently I wasn't the only one who didn't memorize the route as we caught the front of the group running the opposite direction when we reached our meeting point. Having only a $5 wrist watch on and no idea how far we'd run I ventured back into the night for another go. It would be a shame to get DQ'd on a technicality on December 3rd. Better luck catching me tomorrow Marco Police.

5.75 miles, 46 min 37 sec

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