Sunday, June 12, 2011


You may have noticed that I dislike running in hot weather. Therefore, over the last few days when I saw 58 degrees as today's low, I made it my plan to get out for a run this morning. I got ready to go, and checked weather one last time only to find that it already was supposedly 68 degrees. Oops, the low is supposedly tonight.

But, I was up and ready to get out there, so out there I went. I arrived at my starting point at Northeastern High School and found a cloud cover that would not be out of place on Venus, humidity that I suspect was well above 90%, and according to the digital sign at the school, a temperature of 66 degrees. With the sun a distant memory, the heat alone wouldn't have been as bad, but the Amazon-jungle strength humidity made the run unpleasant by about the time I hit mile 2. I pressed on, though, since I had eaten quite heartily the day before and had a big diner breakfast in the near future.

The roads and sidewalks of Manchester were deserted, as other humans had wisely elected to stay in their beds. But I was not alone.

I see slugs on almost all my summer morning runs. I try not to step on them, but they seem pretty innocuous most of the time. But I've NEVER seen a slug like this:

(10oz. hydration bottle for scale)

Anyone who has seen the 1988 horror classic "Slugs" knows that slugs are terrifying predators who can decimate a whole town. So, a few of my high school friends and I are probably safe at least. Since I have seen the film, I took off running. I mean, I was already running, but I started running faster and went farther just to get away my pursuer. In hindsight, I probably needn't have worried. My route crossed the path of Giant Mutant Slug twice, and in the time it took me to run two miles, my slimy nemesis had moved about six inches.

In my escape, I went 10 miles in 1:36:35, bringing me to 38 miles this week, my second highest mileage week ever. I got three 30-milers in in pretty warm, humid conditions, so I think I can work my way up to some 15-16 mile long runs by the end of August, especially if I can find somewhere flatter and shadier than my usual courses.


  1. A top speed banana slug moves 3 inches per hour. You traveled about 7 mph. So, if that slug really did travel 6 inches that's a world class slug and the slug has a greater fitness than you. (But, I'll assume the slug only traveled 4.5 inches, so you're not (yet) being out performed by a slug) :)

  2. I'm 5'6", 135lbs. That's the 40th percentile in both height and weight. I ran a marathon in just a few minutes short of 5 hours and have just two medals to my name.

    I'm hardly elite.

    This slug, on the other hand, is the slug put took the other slugs' lunch money in school. He was the star of the slug football team. He's trained for years and he slimes a 27-minute half a foot. Elite doesn't do this slug justice. He's the slug that the other elite slugs are afraid of.

    I don't think there's any shame in losing to a slug like that.

  3. The slug might have a negative split too.

  4. That photo is disturbing. I forgot all about the existence of slugs until now.

  5. Now, if the slug negative split, that's a whole different story!