Thursday, November 6, 2008

My heart is soaring, my feet are flying

Perhaps it was a surge of adrenaline from the past few days of heightened excitement and wild happiness. Perhaps it was just the extra rest day I got by skipping my Wednesday run to recover from the late night shenanigans and celebrations on Election Day.

Whatever the reason, I burst out of the house this morning for an off-schedule Thursday run and flew through 6.19 miles at an unprecedent pace for a weekday morning run. Every single mile was under ten minutes.

Even in the first mile, where I usually struggle to get the morning lead out of my legs, I felt light and free. When I paused the timer for my bathroom stop 1.5 miles in, I was thrilled to see the total time at that point was under fifteen minutes. It turned out that the first mile was 9:49 and the next half mile was at a 9:46 pace. After the potty break things got even better, with the next four miles coming in at 9:15, 9:32, 9:26, and 9:09, and the last .69 mile at an 8:51 pace. I had wanted to go at least 6.2 miles, but I hit the front door at 6.19, and my stomach was beginning to cramp, so it seemed prudent to stop. (If I'd left the Garmin running during my sprint to the bathroom I would have passed the 10K mark, but it would have brought my pace down.)

I'm running a 10K on Saturday, my first race since Victoria, and I'm trying to do everything I can to maximize my performance. I'm not planning on trying for a PR, but I would like not to feel disappointed in my results. So I'm trying to do everything that's worked for me before, and avoid everything that has seemed to hurt me before.

I am definitely not running tomorrow, the day before the race. I am going to run on fresh legs, not tired legs! I am, however, going to a yoga class tomorrow morning, for some gentle mental and physical stretching. And even though it's probably only a myth, psychological crutch, or placebo, I am going out for a pre-race pasta dinner tomorrow night.

I have also added bit of adrenaline-enhancing company to my race day, by inviting a special friend who seems to have the ability to make my heart race. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that some of my faster recent training runs have occurred on mornings after we've spent an evening together. He was also a pretty talented runner in days gone by (high school and college) and probably can't really comprehend how a sub-nine pace could be considered "fast" by someone like me. Still, I think I'll have a bit of impetus to run faster knowing that he'll be watching the clock as I finish. (But even if that doesn't make me faster, it'll be fun having his company and support.)

So good things are happening all around. The election results were magnificent, my personal life is definitely looking up, and I am running well, and loving it all. The world is a beautiful place!

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