Back On the Rock

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Miami Miles: Week 7

Running friend calls with a challenge: Miami Half Marathon. January 29. I’m in! The delusional part of my brain conjures up a goal: 1:45:00. Monday night that dream fades with another laborious 60 minute 10k. 2:00:00 seems like a more reasonable goal. (Note to the yellow-clad runner who stomped on my pride: give me 7 weeks and I will kick your ass, buddy.) Tuesday I join Gymkhana. 2 miles on a treadmill in an overheated room would only be appropriate if I were training for a race in Equatorial New Guinea. My ears ring and I cough and sputter through 2 sad little 9:30’s. Wednesday: I get in 2 laps of the Mona Dam upper loop just as night falls. 3.23 miles in 35 minutes. Abysmal, but slipping on limestone in the dark will kill anybody’s time, right? It is pitch black and the three ‘security guards’ are huddled together at one end of the dam. “Shouldn’t you be spread out?” I ask. “Yea man, we spread out when we goin’ home.” Thank you, Water Commission. I see my $2,500 Dam fee is money well spent.

I’m too scared to finish my run at the Dam but, undeterred, I head down to EPark. 5 more miles in 47 minutes. Better. Overheard: “Why me woulda want go so fast? After me nuh cyar?” An Indian man with a ponytail shouts out “Wait for me, man. I comin’," but then resumes puffing away on his cigarette.

Thursday night I sign up with a trainer at Gymkhana. Friday night: It’s happy hour so the Dam is empty. As soon as I start I feel faster. The first loop takes 15 minutes. The second one takes 14 and change. Not bad. “You movin’ well,” says a brown-skinned man in his fifties as he trots by me. I finish up my 4 miles in 36 minutes. I’ll take that. Now I just have to do that three times in a row to make my 2:00:00 goal. I’m tempted to run more but I’m late for my hair appointment. The only thing worse than a bad run -- a bad hair day.


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