What happens when you go on vacation and don't run for 10 days, and then, less than 12 hours after you return, you run 9 miles? Let's just say it could have been worse...but boy howdy, I sure was feeling this run toward the end, and especially afterward. Now, it was great to be back with my running crew - CC, Loretta and I had a lot to catch up on and the run was fun in that aspect. It's just that my legs let me know that they didn't like going from zero to nine miles without a little bit of build up.
Funny thing though - this season, more than any in the past, I barely check my Garmin while I'm running. Mostly I'll glance at it to see what mile we're on, for fueling purposes (although Loretta is usually spot on, within a tenth of a mile, for knowing when it's time to refuel, which I think is really great - she's very intuitive in feeling when her body needs more fuel), but I don't look at our pace. However, as we crested the last uphill slog and I exclaimed out loud that I was dying (slight exaggeration, but runners know that feeling), I checked it and saw that we were at mile 8.25, which reassured me that I could survive for another 3/4 of a mile. Later on while we were at breakfast, I looked at our mile splits and saw that we'd run the last four miles faster than the first five - no wonder I felt like I was dying. And that last mile? Fastest than our first mile by over a minute! That was a pretty sweet accomplishment - Loretta and I high-fived over that one.
That afternoon and the next day I was pretty sore, but between taking some Motrin and using my BFF Buffer, I felt decent enough to run on Monday morning. Loretta came over and she, Jeff, and I had a nice shake out run at 5:15 am. Afterward, Jeff went inside the house while Loretta and I talked for a few minutes on the driveway while Paco was outside, running around like the crazy dog he is. At one point he started barking aggressively at the gate on our side fence, so I put him back in the house - it was dark and I couldn't see much, but I figured he was just barking at a sweet neighborhood cat, Obi-Wan Kenobi, who gets picked on by all of my pets but persists in hanging around.
Turns out, he was barking at an armadillo, and scared it into our garage. Of course, I didn't see this happen and I went back to talking with Loretta until she had to leave to get ready for work. She left, and I went in through the garage, hit the button to close the door, and turned to make sure it was closing all the way (sometimes our cats will bum rush the garage and cause the door to pop back up)...and that's when I saw a huge armadillo about three feet from me, walking under Jeff's car! I also saw Kip in the garage, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I shrieked, ran inside my house, slammed the door, and yes, I trapped my cat in the garage with an armadillo.
Now, the sane person would have cracked open the door, reached out and hit the button to reopen the garage door, but HECK NO WHAT IF THE ARMADILLO WAS RIGHT THERE AND TRIED TO COME IN THE HOUSE??? Not. An. Option. The other choice was to go outside through the front door, open the garage door using the keypad mounted on the side of the door frame, and run like hell back toward the front door. Luckily, I had a third choice, which was to go make Jeff deal with it. Also not ashamed of that...he's not always home, but when he is, I will gladly surrender any and all dealings with wild animals to him. With the help of our Webster (good for sweeping cobwebs, ceiling fans, and armadillos), he got the armadillo out of the garage. Whew!
And that's how I got a double cardio workout on Monday.