Cramps! Bees! Baseball! A run!

21ºC and high cloud for tonight’s run. For a change of pace, there was virtually no wind.

A baseball game was in progress at the eastern diamond and I was reminded yet again at what a great motivator baseball is for running. This particular set of teams were applying what you call serious wood to the ball, cracking them out regularly at high velocity and with an alarming tendency to head straight toward the northern stretch of the path I run on. I tried to pick up the pace each time I neared so I’d clear the line of fire before the next pitch was released. One ball went into a tree, which is as you might guess is not part of the playing field. Another ball got knocked into the street. I consider myself lucky to have escaped without a goose egg on the noggin.

I had a good start but tragedy struck between the 2 and 3 km mark. Okay, not really tragedy, more like a cramp in my abdomen. I ate a little more than an hour before running and it’s the only thing I can think of to explain it. Whatever the cause, the cramp was enough to put a serious dent in my pace. I almost packed it in but usually a cramp eases up after a few km, so I continued on. This particular cramp made itself comfy, though, and persisted through the remainder of the run. Stupid cramp.

As a result, my pace was a very sluggish 5:39, a whopping 12 seconds off my last run, but I at least got the full 10 km in. And Tiger Woods didn’t congratulate me for the 100th time for completing another 5,000 miles, so there’s that, too.

The final insult came at the end when two bees stubbornly kept flying around the fountain. I was parched but they would not leave. I ran the fountain spigot and splashed water. They buzzed about a bit then settled back, one of them perching on top of the actual spigot itself. A nearby pail was half-full of water for thirsty dogs. I proceeded to take the bucket and dump it directly on top of the fountain. This persuaded the bees to leave long enough for me to get a few sting-free gulps of water.

The chart nicely illustrates where the cramp struck. Note how the pace in the 3rd and 4th km shoots up by a ridiculous 6 and 5 seconds. That pretty much sealed the run right there. By the end my pace had moved closer to what it would normally be, meaning the cramp had either lessened or enough endorphins kicked in for me to mostly ignore it.

Distance July 21st July 17th July 13th July 11th July 5th
1 km 5:05 5:06 5:10 5:15 5:10
2 km 5:08 5:09 5:14 5:20 5:13
3 km 5:14 5:12 5:18 5:24 5:14
4 km 5:19 5:14 5:21 5:27 5:18
5 km 5:24 5:17 5:23 5:29 5:21
6 km 5:28 5:20 5:25 5:31 5:24
7 km 5:32 5:22 5:26 5:33 5:27
8 km 5:36 5:24 5:29 5:35 5:30
9 km 5:39 5:26 5:30 5:36 5:33
10 km 5:40 5:27 5:30 5:37 5:34

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