Strange things happen on the road. Sometimes they happen in bunches.
Once, during an afternoon run on a short trail that runs alongside Clearview Avenue in Crafton, two young ladies sitting on a step asked me if I had a cigarette. To humor them, I stopped, patted my pockets and said, “Sorry, I forgot them.”
The final two weeks of training for the EQT Pittsburgh 10-miler, which runs Sunday and will be the next feature in the O-R Challenge series, were a bit unusual, though nothing quite as weird as being asked for a smoke.
It started with my third, and final, Fleet Feet Flyers group run. The gang met in front of a coffee shop on Walnut Street. A 7-mile run (technically, I believe it was a 6.91-miles) was laid out for those of us doing the Train to Run program. I went out with a group whose pace I liked, but ended up moving ahead on the climb along Penn Avenue to North Linden Avenue in Point Breeze. Eventually, the course led back to Shadyside but, somewhere along Ellsworth Avenue, I missed a turn. (Full disclosure: I’m blaming the gaffe on trying to check out the wooden street at Rosslyn Place.) The directions said to turn right on Filbert Street. I continued to run Ellsworth. After multiple blocks, East Liberty came into my sight and my run-tracking app told me I hit 7 miles.
A lady was walking down the sidewalk and I think I startled her when I asked between breaths, “Do you know where Filbert Street is?”
She told me I passed it a few blocks ago. I thanked her and made a right-hand turn. The good news was it added nine-tenths of a mile to my run.
Later that week, I broke my smartphone when it fell out of my pocket as I was closing my car door.
Now, I’m back to my old iPhone4 that can’t download my work email or add any apps. Sorry if anyone from Fleet Feet or EQT or the Observer-Reporter tried to reach me the past week. I still haven’t been able to check my work email.
And, on my final training run, which didn’t take place until Friday because of a Disney World vacation, a young man approached me on Broad Street in South Greensburg and asked, “I lost $280. It fell out my car window. Did you see it back there?”
I wish I had, but I was more busy wiping snot on my shirt.
So, unlike previous training updates, I can’t offer any mile or time updates other than Friday’s run, which covered 5.34 miles in 43:23.
Hopefully, I’m ready for Sunday morning. I believe I am.