A Boss-Filled, Raceless Week

Twins, separated at birth?

Another week gone and this one was not quite ordinary.  Allow me to run it down for you.


With my boss’ boss flying into town to spend a few days with my boss, my peers, and I, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to follow my usual routine during her visit.  Luckily, our first appointment wasn’t scheduled until 6:00 PM and I had no other meetings scheduled after 4:00, so  I exchanged a few emails with Nathan and by 4:00 I was on the greenway and running in his direction.

I could tell early in this run that it was not going to be a pleasant one.  A mile in and I already felt like hell.  The water I carried, ice cold mere moments ago, was ready to brew tea in by the time I took my first sip.  My legs felt like someone had strapped lead weights to them.  I slowly struggled along until I encountered Nathan at which point I sped up to keep up.

We ran a solid easy-day pace, but it felt like race pace to me, our 8-minute miles feeling more like sixes.  After a few miles, Nathan said, “Time for me to turn off” and I answered in knee-jerk reaction fashion, “Good, I’m dying here.”  When we split, I instantly dropped down to about 9:15 pace and slogged it in.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful to see my place of work.

On the plus side, I ran right at 10 miles and the new Karhu’s felt great.  I tend to complain but I truly am grateful to be running at all.  Never take it for granted – it’s a gift!

I showered and headed over to the Hickory House on Tryon for an awkward dinner with my boss, her boss, and a few other strangers who hold jobs similar to mine.

Tuesday and Wednesday

Little opportunity to run as I was in meetings all day – I worked from 7:00 until 6:00 and then went straight to working dinners until nearly 8.  But at least the food was better and the boss was paying.  Tuesday, we ate at the Penguin, and then Wednesday, after I wandered around uptown forever looking for it, at Fleming’s.  I could have worked in some late night or early morning runs, but as it was, the achilles was still a little iffy and felt sore/tight and I was exhausted each day from the stress of being sequestered with both of my bosses for nearly 12 hours a day.  I opted for a little relaxing down time instead of running.

One interesting story: while I walked up Trade in search of Fleming’s, a kid I assumed to be homeless addressed me.  “Here we go”, I thought as I hardened myself in preparation for confrontation.  “Excuse me sir?  Can you spare some change for a couple of a**holes?”  That made me laugh.  He earned all the   change in my pocket for his lightning comedy routine.  Well played kid.  I just hope he uses the change to purchase some Mickey D’s and not some heroin.  I found myself wondering what this boy’s story was as I looked for the restaurant.  Obviously a clever kid – how’d he wind up on the streets?


With the big boss finally headed home, I settled into my normal routine which usually entails running immediately after work, around 5.  I shuffled through another hot one, but this time alone, which is infinitely worse.  I stuck mostly to the soft surface dirt portions of the trail in an attempt to avoid inflaming the achilles.

Like on Monday, again I struggled.  I called my Garmin a liar when it said I was running 9:00 pace.  The best part of this run came when I ran back to the parking lot and saw my car and knew I was finished.  I considered it a moral victory that despite my slow pace, I had gutted it out for 7 miles.


I met Nathan at Davidson for a run on the cross-country trails.

We ran a “boiling lobster” 8+ mile run.  I’m the lobster.  A boiling lobster run is one where I run with someone faster than me and the pace keeps getting dialed up until I get cooked.  Nathan swears I was the one pushing the pace but I’m not buying it.  We ran the first mile, our slowest, in 8:09 and the last, our fastest, in 7:13.  But I felt great throughout – this one gives me hope that I may be able to race again, or at least start doing some speed work,  in the not-too-distant future.

Afterward, as Nathan and I lingered around and talked in the Davidson parking lot, some guy trotted up.  Nathan was stretching, looking down, and didn’t notice the guy approaching.  As the stranger neared, he called out to Nathan, “Ben?  Ben Hovis?”  As Nathan didn’t see or hear him yet, I answered, “No man, not Ben, Nathan.”  The guy, misinterpreting my answer, said to me, “No, I’m talking to your friend.  I know this guy.”  And I thought, “Um, no, apparently you don’t.”  But Nathan eventually looked up and straightened things out.  The guy introduced himself as Lance, a former Davidson runner, who has been injured for a while and is just getting back into running.  Later he spotted Jordan Kinley and called out, “John?  John Compton?” Yeah okay, I made that last bit up.  But Lance, if you’re reading, I think a visit to the eye doctor may be in order.

This morning, Saturday, I ran an easy 6.  Tomorrow, I’m planning to meet some Hood to Coast teammates at Davidson for an easy long run.  And that’s it for a rather strange, yet mostly uneventful, week.  I think I may put the achilles to the test next week, either in the Summer Track Series and/or in the King Tiger 5K.  Keep your fingers crossed (or Sudha, if you’re reading this, rub gold!)


One Response to “A Boss-Filled, Raceless Week”

  1. Bob Says:

    The Penguin and Flemings….man, you really showed them all sides of charlotte!

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