Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tales of The Kid, Part V: This Time It May Not Be So Rosy

Tales of The Kid usually turn out pretty good. If The Kid didn't run pretty well most of the time, he wouldn't be known as The Kid. But heaven knows The Kid ain't perfect. This time may just possibly be different.

The Kid is staying at the Geneva State Park Lodge with family. They are enjoying a fine fall weekend, enjoying the fall foliage, tasting wine, eating too much, and so on. But there is also running to be done.

The Kid's alarm goes off at 3:40 AM, and he's up and out the door within 40 minutes. This is pretty good for The Kid, who often takes an hour or so to wake himself up enough to get moving. So to speak. Why so early, you ask? Because The Kid has to do 20 miles today, and the family's breakfast reservation is for 8:15 AM. And he would also like to be done in time to take a pre-breakfast walk with his wife like he did yesterday.

If The Kid can average 9-minute miles today, he'll be quite happy. If he can't go that fast, he will just have to do the best he can. He can even run 10-minute miles and still make it back in time for breakfast. But The Kid simply doesn't go that slow. Mostly.

As The Kid begins his journey through Geneva State Park, he is very thankful for the new headlamp. It lights the way quite well on the all-purpose trail, especially in the deep, dark, wooded areas, which is most of the way.

The way takes The Kid the long way around the marina, over to the beach, by the campground, around the cabins, and out the other side of the park. The Kid mostly retraces his steps back to the Lodge for his first loop of 5.5 miles. It's going fairly well, although despite some huffing and puffing, The Kid is only averaging 10-minute miles. Perhaps the second loop will be better.

After a short break, The Kid sets out again. This time he runs through town. The Kid thinks that Geneva-on-the-Lake, also known as GOTL, is a pretty cool place. Being an old-fashioned beach/seaside resort town, it's pretty much build for fun. And The Kid is all about fun.

Except when he's running. This is serious business, dang-it. It doesn't matter that well-lit GOTL is mostly closed and borded up for the season, that there's almost no traffic in this early morning anyway, or anything else; it's the run that counts. And The Kid isn't setting the world on fire.

He returns to the Lodge again and realizes that he's still not running very fast. For the first time it occurs to him that he may have to call it quites before his 20 are done. The Kid still wants to take his wife for that walk, and he most assuredly doesn't want to miss breakfast.

The Kid is able to slurp some additional coffee down this time - it's now out in the lobby. And he gets moving once again.

And he returns yet once again at about 16 miles. Now - can he make it to 20? Should he just hang it up? Can he make it to 20 and still make it to breakfast?

These questions and more are bouncing around in The Kid's head as he goes back out to run at least a couple more. Heaven knows there isn't much else bouncing around up there. And furthermore, there's plenty of room. But The Kid digresses.

Luckily, he doesn't digress long. It's getting lighter, and The Kid takes a different route around the park - this time making an actual loop. A loop turns out to be a good thing for The Kid; it's less easy to just turn back and call it a morning. In fact, The Kid finally begins to run at a (relatively) faster pace. He'd been averaging 10-mimute miles almost the entire way, and only now gets a couple decent ones in. Mile 20 is his fastest: a blistering 8:59.

So...
Long run of 20 miles: check.
Getting done in time for breakfast: check.
Averaging a decent pace: not so check.
Getting done in time to do a pre-breakfast walk with his wife: no check. But they are able to walk after breakfast anyway. Why didn't The Kid think of that?


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