So, Jon and I headed out to run on Tuesday. Just a friendly jaunt, mind you, neither of us really eager to beat the snot out of each other. 20 minutes out, 20 minutes back. Enjoy the fresh air, enjoy the scenery…


So, we head on out of the lab, chatting, enjoying the sunlight and the break from the office. And my legs are feeling great! which is a complete relief after the 6 miles on Monday that almost killed me.

Jon’s a great guy – ran XC in high school (Man, I wish I’d been able to do that), has worked in industry for many, many years prior to coming to the lab, and has, like me, been getting back into running over the last couple of years. Though he hasn’t bitten off the marathon monster. (Mark – drop me a line about this once life settles down for you). But, for whatever reason (probably that I have the 26.2 box checked off), he thinks I can outrun him.

The run out on Burma Road is GREAT! The sun shines, the breeze blows, the birds beat down on our ears (wait…). There’s sails on Narragansett bay, and a wind in our face. Nothing better in all the world.

Jon’s a “Big” breather. I’ve found there’s four types of breathers among runners.

  1. Transparent: These’re folks like me, whose breathing can really be used to gauge their level of suffering. On a good run, the breathing is quiet, and usually accompanied by too much talking. As the level of effort goes up, the level of gab goes down. When the pain sets in, the breathing noise goes up – sucking sounds on the in, blowing sounds on the out, ’cause at that point running both sucks and blows. There’ll be grunting, too.
  2. Big: Big breathers always make noise – suck it in, blow it out. If they’re exercising, they’re breathing – think LaMaz (or however you spell that crock – My wife almost strangled me while delivering our first when I tried to coach her with a “Sniff-Ha”!). Not particularly excessive, not much grunting, just a steady “sniff!”-“Psssshew”.
  3. Loud: Loud breathers are big breathers who sound like they’re constantly in pain. These are the grunters, the vocalizers, the ones who you want to call an ambulence on.
  4. Silent: Silent runners are the ones who we all want to be. Picture a Kenyan crossing the line at 2:15, and these are who I’m talking about – all the effort is into taking air in and blowing it out, and the noise just distracts from that.

Anyway, like I said, Jon’s a “Big” breather. And, not being a competitive guy and all, and feeling GREAT on the way out, I kind of turn it up a little bit, as my radar’s telling me that Jon’s on the edge. So the splits go something like 8:45 for the first mile, and 8:35 for the second mile.

As we’re reaching the turn, I start letting Jon know how many more minutes it is. We end up going about a quarter mile more than I’d estimated for a 40 minute run.

On the way back, Jon runs like a man possessed. There’s no change in his breathing – still a steady suck it in, blow it out, but the pace is a KILLER. 7:45 for mile 3.

Which is where he tells me “Hey, Bill, if you want to go ahead, go ahead. I’m pretty much tapped out.”

And I tell him “Jon, you’ve been killing me since the turn, you go on ahead.”

So, I make a concious effort to slow down enough to survive back to the building, and Jon quickly opens up another 75 yards on me.

Mile 4 is another 8:40 mile, which isn’t too shabby.

I catch up to Jon just as we get to the gate. We walk for a few yards, then I go and sprint up the hill, just ’cause it’s there. Both of us are spent – what a great feeling.

4.6 miles, 40 minutes.