Sometimes training plans can be a real bitch. A real spiky heeled dominatrix, in fact. The kind that makes you cry out “Yes, Mistress Hammysnap*, may I have another!” at the lowest point of your long run.
I rolled out of bed Sunday morning with a belly full of celebratory beer mixed with a club sandwich and a heaping portion of seasoned French fries along with a bad case of Low Motivation. Why? Well, my college football filled Saturday afternoon went like this:
1) Watch last few minutes as one of my alma maters beat Michigan State on a last second field goal bringing a smirk to my face.
2) Watch Michigan take out Notre Dame on a last second touchdown bringing a big, wide, borderline euphoric smile to my face.
3) Consume beer/club sandwich at local restaurant. Not even care as kids barely miss smacking into lamps and whacking people in the face with pool cues as I sat at nearby table with goofy grin still etched into cheeks.
4) Go home. Watch Ohio State lose in the last minute. Smile is cartoony wide now and consumes whole face.
That, my friends, is called the trifecta! Or quadfecta if you include the beer and club sandwich. A good night.
However, life is all about the yin yang, the balancing of fate. For every Seinfeld, there’s a Bob Patterson or Michael Richards Show. The wider my smile got; the more leery I became of the payback.
So as I rolled from the warm, comfortable embrace of Mrs. Nitmos Sunday morning to tackle the long run, I knew I was in trouble. Mistress Hammysnap would smell the beer and detect the signs of unrestrained joy still dancing around the corners of my mouth. I would pay. Oh, yes, how ‘bout a nice spiked heel to your left hamstring around mile six??
I let the previous evening’s events circumcise my planned 15 miles to 13. The plan became 5 miles around 7:00 pace, 5 miles at race pace (6:45), and then 3 miles cool down in the 7-7:15 range. The half marathon is two weeks away and conventional wisdom tells me I should start to taper at some point after this run (but not in the middle of it – this isn’t OSU football after all.**)
Heavy. Sluggish. Tired. Damn, beer doesn’t make for good pre-run hydration. Mistress Hammysnap was beating me in the back like a derby racehorse just to squeeze a 7:01 pace out of me through 5 miles. Sweat? Buckets full.
And now I needed to get faster? The club sandwich was trying to find a way out like it was fleeing from a brothel raid. Pinch. Convince myself it’s just a hernia. Pinch a second time to slam the door shut. Run on.
ThankyoumayIhaveanother!? ThankyoumayIhaveanother?! I managed to please Mistress with the next five miles at a 6:41 pace. I left a lot of evaporative beer and club sandwich out on the course though. My hammies didn’t snap (thank you, Mistress!) but they did strain and start reciting a prayer just in case.
Cool down three miles. But “cool down” doesn’t feel like COOL DOWN when the pace is only 20 seconds per mile slower than the previous five. And those five were unmitigated torture.
7:05, 7:06 and then an unplanned sprint in at mile 13 with a 6:40. The final mile is the only in which I deviated from plan. Mistress Hammysnap didn’t have to time to take a pound of flesh in punishment. She was overridden by Master B.M. who exacted a pound of …something else.
I was a good boy. Mistress must have been pleased with the effort. I’m sure she’ll be there on race day wearing chaps, a bull whip and spiked heels. Saddle up!
Race day is on a Sunday (in two weeks). I better look at that Saturday’s football schedule to know what I might be in for.
* The name is entirely fictionalized. There’s no way I’d pay to be ritualistically beaten – at a cost of $125 an hour – every Wednesday evening from 7-9 (discounted rates for multiple hours!). No way.