It could have been a really bad run today. My favorite place to do long runs is infested with deer flies. Last week if felt like Nolan Ryan was hiding in the forest and periodically jumping out to nail me in the back with pine cones. So San Felasco was not a good option. I failed in my attempt to gather anyone to run hills in Micanopy. Today would be a solo run on blacktop. With 5 water bottles, 3 Power Gels and some Chia Gel (experimental stuff) placed outside the gate in the driveway, I could do several short out and back trips around the neighborhood and have all I needed to sustain me through the run.
Out the door at 6:35 and rolling. Five miles in I noticed a problem. White foamy bubbles were sliding down my thighs. My black running shorts were foaming at the crotch and the bubbles flowed down my legs with the sweat. Apparently a well-meaning person added extra soap to my load of running clothes in an attempt make them smell better. I can only imagine what it looked like to the young lady I ran past at about 6 miles. She didn’t just give a polite wave and a “good morning.” She clearly giggled as she waved good morning.
Back at the driveway for a drink and some Power Gel at 8 miles, I was still Captain Foamy Pants and it showed no signs of stopping. Oh well. As a stood there drinking some water, I felt stings on my ankles. I was standing in an ant pile. Slapping ants and squirting my foamy squishy shoes with my water bottle I fought off the attackers. With a foaming crotch and burning ankles, I set off in less than a good mood to do another 12 miles all by myself. Nobody would know if I bagged it. Sounds like a good idea.
A few miles later I was just on cruise control. Not caring about the run or much of anything; just trying to slog through and get it over with. Then a very cheerful voice cut through my fog of grumpiness. My neighbor, Mrs. Gillespie, was out working in her yard. “Good Morning, Dan!” she called out. Isn’t it odd how cheerfulness is annoying when you are really grumpy? I managed a fairly nice, “Good Morning!”
“How are you doing today?” she politely asked.
It would be rude to give an honest answer so I said, “Oh, OK. Ask me again in about an hour.”
Mrs. Gillespie smiled back and as I ran by she hollered after me, “Have fun out there!”
Have FUN? What the heck was she thinking? Fun? Hmmm. Why would I step out the door to run 20 miles on a Saturday morning if it wasn’t going to be fun? It should be fun! She was absolutely right. I should have fun.
Being Captain Foamy Pants changed into a funny thing and not an annoying thing. Little ants suddenly seemed about as important as ants. Is it fun to crank out 21 miles on a Saturday morning? Is it more fun when you hammer the last 3 miles just because it’s fun to go fast? Is it fun to tack on an extra mile to the end and do it in 5:45, with the last half mile in 2:40? I suppose that all depends on if you have a neighbor like Mrs. Gillespie.