Thursday, June 28, 2007

Free Pass

I like to think I eat a fairly healthy variety of food, but when I find myself traveling through a certain zip code in Tucson the car seems almost to drive itself to Pat's Drive In. Kiera and I used to live a few miles from this place, and back when I raced road bicycles Pat's would often be my last stop after riding hill repeats over Gate's Pass or riding up Mt. Lemmon. After a long, hard ride of 80 miles or so I had no problem throwing nutritional guidelines out the window and enjoying something blissfully caloric and full of saturated fat. I felt a ride of 4 hours or more gave me a free pass for one gorging, and a $5 bill tucked in my jersey pocket was always enough to do the trick.

Today I found myself back in my old zip code, though this time instead of riding a bicycle I was driving a rented van that for some inexplicable reason contained two life-sized cheetah bronzes which I had just finished lifting and wrestling into said vehicle along with a few paintings. It was close to noon and already nearing 100 degrees, and when I found myself passing the familiar white metal awning and saw the friendly cartoon hot dog smiling I simply could not resist. When I dug into my pocket and found a $5 bill it was a done deal.

It's now two spicy chili dogs, a bag of fries and a Dr. Wells (you can't win 'em all) later and things are looking up. The cheetahs have a new temporary home and I'm back in the air conditioning, thinking about the workout this morning. Today called for 9 miles at 6:08-6:12 pace, which was the same run I did last week. The legs still felt a little tired, which I blame on last evening's run through an inferno of heat. Still, after two slow warm up miles I got to it.

Usually the first two miles are the easiest, but today I found myself slipping to the back of the pace range from the get-go. The breathing was definitely a little heavier than last week, and I just couldn't settle in and get comfortable. Finally at four miles in things started to break my way as I brought the pace down to 6:09 for the duration. To my amazement it kept getting better from here, and by 7 miles I was speeding up a little more. The last mile had just a little edge to it, and I finished the effort at an average pace of 6:07.

I'm anxious to see how tomorrow goes, as it's always the second day of the back to back workouts that tell the tale. Now off to find some pepto bismol.

Training: 12 miles, 1:17:05, 6:25 pace, w/9 miles at 6:07 pace
Yesterday pm., 6.2 miles, easy but stinking hot


Patrick said...

I use the same thinking when the MN State Fair rolls around in late August. I usually put in a nice long run and then my wife and I bike to the fairgrounds. Then I'm free to have my cheese curds, pickle on a stick, deep-fried Twinkie, milk shake, etc, etc. Works like a charm.

Mike said...

Pickle on a stick? Now that's living. Never have tried the fried Twinkie, though it is tempting.

Patrick said...

The deep fried Twinkie is excellent. There are also deep fried Oreos and deep fried Snickers, but the Twinkie is my favorite.