Today I drove out to North Conway to meet my friend Mary for a late morning run. We ran on the tote roads and trails off of Town Hall Rd. This is a nice area to run as it is out in the mountains and has plenty of climbing, but the climbing is all runnable. We should have talked about distance before we started, because after a few hours I realized we were still headed out and away from the car. I hate to be a spoil sport so I didn't voice my concerns, but I haven't done a long run since my recovery phase started about six weeks ago.
I started to slow down and Mary kept asking things like, "did you remember to eat breakfast this morning?" and I'd say, "yeah, I'm just out of shape." Then a few minutes later, "Do you think you might be anemic?" and I'd say, "No, I'm just out of shape." Then from Mary, "Is your back bothering you today?" with my reply, "No, I'm just out of shape." This went on for a long time. Mary had a lot of theories about what was causing my lagging pace. Finally I had to grab Mary by the shoulders and shake her a little while I yelled, "I'M OUT OF SHAPE!" I think she finally got it, because a few minutes later she suggested we turn around and head back.
The beauty of running this out and back course is that back is down hill, but I was breathing hard and struggling even on the downhill. It was hard, but it felt good to get it done. Mary even had the decency to pretend she was also tired at the end. What a friend. I don't feel any worse for wear, just a little humbled. I'm not sure how far we ran I just know it was too far for me right now. I guess it's time to get training again!