Goodbye- third toenail on my right foot. You will be missed. It finally came off after a warm bath last night. Can you believe it took three months to fall off after it turned black in September? Weird, huh? I admit, I was really nervous that it would hurt — but it didn’t hurt a bit. I ran today and didn’t even notice not having a nail.

Today was the perfect run — well, almost! 6.51 miles with an average pace of 9:55. I took it easy for the first three miles (though there was the killer hill that I took near the golf course), then the funniest thing happened around mile 3.5. I noticed another runner coming towards me from a neighborhood I was passing. It was a guy in his early 20’s dressed in running tights and a skull cap. I quickly realized that based on our current paces, we’d smack right into each other if one of us didn’t back off or speed up. I chose to back off a bit and let him turn onto the road I was running on, figuring — he’s young — he’ll zoom off and I can then go back to enjoying my run in peace and solitude.

Strangely, as soon as he got on the path, I realized we were going nearly the same pace. I checked my Garmin and say we were doing about a sub 9 min/mile. I was literally running so close to the back of him I could have whispered “You’re a dork” and he’d have heard me. It was one of those socially awkward moments where I really wasn’t sure what to do. The pace felt great but the proximity felt creepy. I could back off, but lose momentum when I was feeling strong or I could push forward and try to zoom past him, which I wasn’t sure I could really pull off since I was already going faster than I usually do. So…. we stayed like that for nearly a MILE  He did end up crossing the street to get away from “creey runner lady” and I went ahead and pushed the pace just a hair — and passed him up.

I finally saw the intersection that I turn at and went that direction, leaving Mr Runner Dude in the dust. I was laughing to myself that I’d kept up with some fit college guy for that whole mile. My legs were feeling terrific. My lungs felt refreshed from all the delicious, fresh air (40’s and lightly breezy today). I was feeling fantastic. I jogged along, then turned back onto the road that takes me home — and WHO do you think I nearly ran right into AGAIN?  Yup! Runner Dude came from another neighborhood and looked as shocked as I was that we bumped into each other again. I burst into a grin, thinking it was kind of funny and I swear to you, the poor soul looked terrified. (I think he thought I was a runner-lady-stocker!) 

Anyways…it happened again (the running the same pace – this time closer to 9:30) for about a block, when Runner Dude made a quick break for it and zipped off in another direction as fast as his skinny, scared legs could carry him. I grinned the whole way home, thinking the poor dude was frightened of little ole me.  I wanted to hollar out “You couldn’t run faster than a nearly 40 Mom of five this morning, buddy! Ha ha ha ha ha”, but I controlled myself and only THOUGHT that in his general direction! 

Anyways.. it was seriously a great run. It rained yesteray here, washing away all the snow and leaving behind quite a bit of slush and mud on the shoulders of the roads where I run. I stuck to the sidewalks alot today, but along the country roads, I had to run right in the road until cars came, then leaped into the muddy shoulder. Ugh! I leaped a little too fast one of the times and landed funny twisting my ankle a bit. It’s the same ankle I hurt last year, but I don’t think it was anything serious. It’s just a little sore now.

Though the roads were nearly clear, other than the occasional pile of slush, off in the distance the mountains were totally blanketed in snow today. Wow…… Just wow…  I love being a runner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My splits for today:
Mile 1: 10:40
Mile 2: 10:29
Mile 3: 9:14
Mile 4: 8:53
Mile 5: 10:03
Mile 6: 9:48
The last half mile pace: 10:34

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