Sunday, December 12, 2010

Back to “Normal”

I spent this week recovering, but not entirely resting.  I’m not a big fan of total rest, so I kept busy without knocking myself out:  an easy spin on Wednesday, a slow and relaxed two-miler on Thursday, another spin on Friday and then I took yesterday off.  By this morning, I was ready to go for a little longer run.  The weather was fantastic and I took Big Boy and Little Boy out with me for the first two miles.

Sunday Run 004Ready to rock ‘n roll.  Yes, it’s the middle of December and I’m still wearing a tank top – it was a perfect 55 degrees this morning with just a little fog.  The boys regretted their choice of long sleeves within the first half mile, but I’m a nice mom and refrained from saying, “I told you so!”

Sunday Run 007This is the nature trail next to the creek near my house.  It was a little after 7 am and still sort of dark.  I can’t wait for the Winter Solstice to pass!

Sunday Run 009It wasn’t long before Big Boy asked if he could run his own pace (faster than Little Boy’s and, therefore, mine).  I snapped this pic of him on his way back after the turnaround.

Sunday Run 011Sweaty and happy after two quick miles!

Back at my house, I dropped off the boys, my camera and gloves and headed out on my own.  I wasn’t sure how far I’d feel like going, but had the possibility of my favorite 6-mile route in mind (actually, this route is almost exactly 6.2 miles – my own personal 10K).  Being off-plan this week has meant that I could pretty much do whatever I felt like whenever I wanted.  Not quite a runnbattical, but not the rigors of marathon training, either.  Nice.

As soon as I started running, I could feel my whole body relax.  You know that feeling, where your feet start moving and you think, “Oh, yes, this is exactly what I needed!”  My stride opened up and even though I knew I was running “too fast,” I simply didn’t care.  I wasn’t aiming to hit a certain split time and I had zero interest in holding myself back.  If I conked out halfway, I could slow down or cut it short – who would care? 

My legs found a happy, comfortable pace and I felt like I was floating.  My mind was both meandering – working through the stress of daily life and the holidays – and strangely focused – ticking off the pace, keeping my elbows in and my landings soft.  My breathing never got labored, my heart never felt like it was pounding too hard.  Everything about this run felt glorious.  In the end, I chose the 6-mile route and closed the morning with 8.2 miles.  The first two miles were at Little Boy’s pace  -9’05” - and the last 10K?  Um, yeah, I ran that at an astonishing 7’43” min/mi, which is over twenty seconds per mile faster than my current 10K PR pace.  That PR is going down in 2011!

Running, like everything in life, has its peaks and valleys.  I’ve seen my share of disappointments in this sport - I’ve worked hard to see minimal gains, been crushed by mediocre race results, and moped my way through injuries.  And in the four-plus years I’ve been running, I’ve probably only had a handful of runs like the one this morning, where the stars aligned and angels sang and the running gods declared, “Today is your day, P!”  But I’ll take that handful.  They sure do make everything else worthwhile.

20 comments:

Laura said...

Holy crap that's a fast casual relaxed run!

Christi said...

Congratulations on a a great run! I had one of those this week and they are so awesome! It is better than any other high I have had!

LMC said...

I'm glad you had one of those runs where everything just feels perfect. I agree with you that they are not the norm, but when they happen they're worth everything that came before.
BTW, I just read all about your CIM (sorry, I've not been around for a bit). I'm so so happy for you!! I love the pics and your great smile in all of them. Hope you're still enjoying that one!!

MCM Mama said...

What a fabulous way to start the day! I wish my boys would run with me.

ajh said...

That sounds like a great run. It is so neat that your boys were up early running part of it with you. I like the pic of your older boy flying past!

Julie said...

That is awesome P:) You had a pretty darn good run! You were booking it for the last 10K...nice job! You are so right about how running has it's ups and downs...we have to embrace them both. Luckily you are on an up:)

Cute pictures of the boys!

Aimee said...

I think it's awesome that you went on a run with your boys. I can't wait to do that with mine when they get older. And, yay for an awesome speedy relaxed run! I would have to agree that your 10k PR is going down!! :)

Tortuga_Runner said...

Love this, makes me hopeful that when my kids are old enough they will want to run with me.

Alma said...

Nice, so cool that you had a run with your boys and a P run. Will send you recipe shortly...

Average A said...

I love runs like you just had -- the ones that feel natural and effortless! Of course, mine aren't below 7:45-minute miles during leisure runs. Way to go, speedster! And great on you for getting out there with the boys, too. So cute!

xoxo,
A

Johann said...

Sounds like a true runner's high. Fantastic! I get this once every three months or so. Sometimes not even that often, but when it happens it is heaven on earth. Have a great week!

kizzy said...

So good to see you running with your boys, that's absolutely a great fun..

--I prefer running without shoes. My toes didn't get cold. Besides, if I'm in front from the start, no one can step on them. ~Michelle Dekkers - mountain hardwear

Jogging with Fiction said...

where do you live that it's 55 degrees in the morning in december??! I'm moving there!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Kami Semick, ultrarunner, says of her 3000-4000 miles running per year, that of that volume, a small fraction is the reward for all the hard work. Way to keep at it!

misszippy said...

Love it. Sounds like both boys have great running futures ahead!

Colleen said...

Wow~ awesome pace! And I love that you run with your boys! :)

DRog said...

Nice recoovery workouts and you found the Zone!
:)

ERG said...

I lOVE a glorious run!! We are a bit north of you, but I am still in shorts and short sleeves too for most runs. We've had some rain, but still warm enough to get by that way.

Really looking forward to the day I can take my boys to run with me and they can run that fast! :)

Michelle said...

you are so fast!

Julie said...

oh boy! Your run sounds amazing! I can't wait to have that feeling again: the whole body relaxing as you hit your stride and just GO.

Your boys are awesome!