There is a time when, as you're driving along idyllic scenic routes, when you may suddenly encounter the entrance to a tunnel. A smart person will immediately ask him or herself a couple of questions: How long is this tunnel? Is my vehicle too big for it? Do I have enough gas to get to the other side? The same applies to bridges.
As a motorcyclist, one of my nagging fears, especially when encountering major tunnels or bridges such as the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, is of leaving myself stranded, not having enough gas to get to the other side, or having a flat mid-way. These are concerns of import because it bears not only on the rider's own preparedness as a traveller, but also on the gambling-like nature of traveling.
These same fears, though, also apply to my running. I am terribly beset with fear lately. My preparation has been the best it could be, yet in the face of this upcoming half-marathon this weekend, I am looking at a tank nearly on reserve and tires that have been leaking air.
In short, I am not 100% confidient in my ability to make it to the end of this tunnel. From this side of it, I see no light at the other end. Recent evidence is that my machinery - my body - is ailing and may not be able to handle what I'm about to ask of it.
Yep, you're reading that right. An hour and 27 minutes for a 10K run. At that pace, I will turn in a personal worst for a half-marathon on Sunday. I believe the farthest I actually ran, uninterrupted, last night was less than half a mile. My legs felt fine, actually (!), but my lungs...well, they're in bad shape. Even with the cooler, cleaner air we had due to recent rain, my lungs just couldn't support the machinery. The oxygen-bed wasn't there. I walked a LOT of last night's workout and that worries me.
I'm in the same position I was in nearly two years ago before the disastrous Manhattan Half. I'm going to have to consider that, if the running doesn't happen right, I may be reduced to power-walking most of the race. At this point, I'm just hoping to come in under three hours. I'm looking at the equivalent of pushing a dead motorcycle through half of that Bridge-Tunnel. Ugh.
There are other problems. I woke up this morning with a mild fever and the gout is back. I am going to leave work early today and spent the next couple days really hammering the therapies in an attempt to reduce the coughing and such. I think I can leave work early...we are winding down the season at work - one of my client's products is out the door, the other is packing up Tuesday, so I've given all the notes I could or wanted to give on that set of products, and the third client is looking at two weeks left to get his products complete - so he can't possibly ask for too much from the design department at this point in time. We have a few details to iron out tomorrow....
I'm not making much sense, am I?
On a moderately related note, I have noticed that the sicker I get and the more these runs become a struggle just to breathe enough air, the madder I get at smokers - particularly the swishy, devil-may-care, arrogant little NYU shits that populate the most crowded sidewalks. Older smokers tend to at least step aside and into nooks where their smoke stays out of the way, more or less, but these metrosexual little motherfuckers with their emo clothing and their filtered, ultra-thin Capri cigarettes just reek of arrogance. They deserve to have their hides branded "I AM NOT THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE" with the lit ends of their cigarettes. I mean, for god's sake, if your going to smoke, just fuckin' SMOKE. Turn to something a real man can be proud of polluting his lungs with, such as a nice aromatic pipe tobacco, or a good unfiltered Camel. And ladies, you just go ahead and smoke the Capris - I know that you're not smoking because it feels good, but because of social pressure to be a certain image and smoking those wispy little deathsticks is not only a direct part of the image, but also helps you stay thin - the base upon which the rest of your conforming rests. Hey, who am I to tell you to bust out and take control over your self?
Finally, I will note that last night's shutterbugs were not the usual passle of clueless photogs. I noticed that while most of them still had point and shoots instead of a good digital SLR, they at leats turned off the flash and used little tripods or braced the camera well before taking an image - they were doing a pretty good job at getting the breathtaking views from the bridge recorded I guess. And they seemed aware of the people around them and timing their photo-taking well. Good job, guys.