Remember David Petraeus? Okay then,Paula Broadwell?
Hmmmm, don`t worry, I`m kinda hazy myself. Still, at the time the story of their affair broke, it had the potential to warm a scandal mongers heart: sextuagenarian married army general has his biography written by smitten and, married, forty-something military girl. They fall for each other, of course.
And they seal their affair with a six minute mile run together around Washington`s Potomac river.
Ohhhh, there`s whole other chunks to that story. I`ve happily forgotten them all.
But I can`t get that six minute mile joint run out of my head.
I tried to tease out the other details of the story as I fartlekked around the canal today.
But I couldn`t progress beyond the imagining that sextuagenarian and his hot younger friend making eyes at each other as they clipped effortlessly about the River. Really? A six minute mile? Something didn`t ring true.
Kelley who? Well, I don`t care. The FBI, the ensuing scandal about military secrets possibly being breached? Nope, I don`t recall what the problem was there.
But I am very clear about the six minute mile boast. I remember saying at the time, “Hmmmmmmm”. Because most times, that`s as articulate as I am. And because it was Paula Broadwell who had made the claim.
sounded to me like the lady wanted to believe that she and the general were an extra special pair. They belonged together:they were in the elite Six Minute Mile club.
Call it jealousy on my part. True, I can be quite the greenest red hen you ever met. And yes, I have zilch military training. And I`m only seriously running for the past three years. So what do I know about what`s possible?
This evening, I hauled my Juneathonning ass over to my fav canal run.I was short on time, I`d a Hal Higdon run to fulfil and intervals seemed the best solution. Time to see how far this old body would take me.
The warm up one mile saw me in surprisingly good form. And my time was short, so I decided Hal would be perfectly happy if I attended to intervals.
Garmin would do the checking while I focussed on the running.
First mile was a miserable 10.14. Utter crap but hey, it will do as a warm up. I decided to push the speed stuff any which way I could. Any time I felt like slowing down I`d whip myself into faster leg work. If I spotted a lifebuoy, I`d aim for the next buoy or bench, whatever came first. If I swallowed a midge(accidentally, of course) I`d have to run faster. Yeah, daft rules like that. I already told you, I`m weird. Just read the last post if you don`t believe me.
The most striking thing in all this running is that I spectacularly failed to push below 8 min miles. I`d be at 8.34 and then really give it my ALL and think, yep must`ve at least a seven in the bag there.
And get 8.12 on my Garmin.
I did this several times. And please note, when I say 8.12 min miles, I`m not actually running a whole mile, just a few yards at that speed.
Oh, I know I`m no speedie. But at the 8.12 point, it struck me that there was no way that any aspect of my demeanour could be interpreted as a mating call. Not even by a desperate sextuagenarian. In fact, I am very sure that even if I looked as good as paigesato (in a Polaroid shot, fergawdsakes), I still wouldn`t impress anyone at six min per mile. I`d look hot, sure. But in all the wrong ways. My hair was plastered to my forehead with sweat. There were little rivulets of perspiration running down my back. And my running shorts were plastered to my thick red thighs.
If I`d had a running companion, I wouldn`t be thinking of shagging the person beside me, but more telling him impolitely to scarper.
I`d want to puke and die. Maybe even in that order.
I know this for a fact, because that`s exactly how I felt at 8.12 miles per minute this evening.
All other aspects to the run were optimal. Temperatures a balmy, but, perfect for running, 12 degrees, birdsong and blossom abounded. And, best of all, there was no one about. No one to see me making a holy show of myself.
If I were a sextuagenarian general I don`t imagine the running track would be my best pulling place. I`d look better more fully clad, for a start and there`s always the danger that I would be outrun by the young lady. A general can`t have that.
If I were a woman, I`d be conscious of looking my best and not doing anything to dent the general`s delicate ego.
As I trotted, henfully, around my Potomac this evening, and pondered the possibility of puking, a van drove by. The solitary male within passed me a glance and I caught it. It was not one of lust, more of sympathy. “Poor old woman” he mouthed through the windshield. Or at least I imagined it so.
Of course, I know it`s possible to run six minute miles. For some people. I just don`t believe they`re sextuagenarian. And I don`t believe they have anything like lust in mind.
I think saying we ran six minute miles all around a romantic location, sounds just like that: romance.
I think it`s as fanciful as any fairytale where a prince gives chase and tracks down his woman, glass slipper in hand. Only the Prince in the Potomac story happed to be a General and the glass slipper was probably an Asics trainer.
In short,it`s a lie. As fanciful as any fairytale that proceeded it. But pondering the Potomac speed party, got me through my own run.
Scandal and lies does that; get`s our heads out of our own miserable lives, to contemplate the misery of others.
No, I shouldn`t be dragging the Petraeus story up again. A lot of people suffered in that scandal and the protagonists did a good job of letting the news story die. The details of the story, in my book anyway, died with it. But that six minute mating run just wouldn`t go away. Not when I know just how hard it is to really up my speed.
I intend to research the phenomenon of speedy couple runs more closely. Next time I see a hot guy running, I`ll try to match his pace and look all doe eyed at him at the same time. My legs will stretch, my skin will glow. In short, I will look hot. In the right ways.
All in the interests of you, my reader.
Can`t wait for my next river run.