Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Worth Writing About

I've had some pretty incredible runs lately, and I wish that I had written about them sooner than this...when the feeling was still fresh and acute.  I mean, how am I supposed to write about a run on Moscow Mountain where I stepped out of my comfort zone and ran up logging roads alone and found a beautiful little meadow, surrounded on all sides by pine trees? 

Or how do I describe the feeling I got when I ran down a steep little trail, saw a large boulder sunning itself at the bottom, and decided that it would be a crime to not stop for a moment, climb on top of it, and study how blue the cloudless sky was in contrast to the greenest treetops I had ever seen?

I should have written earlier.

So even though I am at work right now and have other things that I should be doing right now, I thought I should spend two minutes and write about my run yesterday by Jack in the Box.

This "Jack in the Box" run is nothing new to me.  It is one of the first places that I ever ran, in fact.  It is almost completely flat and is a pretty heavily-run path in Pullman.  We normally park behind the fast-food joint, and then I run along the railroad tracks a mile out and then take the paved path back to the car.  It is a nice little weekday run for me, especially since I know the exact distances by heart and don't typically use my Garmin.  (It is almost .25 miles to the end of the chain-link fence, .40 miles to the bridge, .80 miles to the underpass, and 1 mile to the road.  This knowledge is especailly useful when I am playing mental games with myself during races; at the end of races I often hear myself say, "Annie, you only have from the bridge to the car to go" or something similar.)

Anyway, I knew that yesterday's run wasn't going to be long, but I wanted it to be good.  I had some energy in my legs, and it had been a few days since I had worn my Racers.  (I have been wearing my Cascadias, Launches, and my newly-purchased Vibram FiveFingers.)

My first mile wasn't especially fast (about a 12-minute pace), but my legs were feeling strong, so I decided to see what I could do on my second mile. Right when my Garmin told me that I had finished Mile 1, I picked up the pace.  After a couple of minutes, my curiosity got the better of me and I checked my watch: under an 8-minute pace!  "NICE!" I thought.  "I didn't even know I could run this fast, even for a short distance."

Even though I knew I was slowing down some, I decided to just keep running as hard as I could until I heard my Garmin beep that I had completed another mile.  I ran beneath the overpass, by the bridge, past the end of the chain-link fence, and beyond the car.  My Garmin beeped, and my grateful legs slowed to a walk.  I looked down at my Garmin, and saw something that brought a big smile to my face: 8:37!!

Yep, my previous record for a mile (set in August of last year) was 9:12.  And yesterday I beat it by 35 seconds!  I may be about five pounds heavier than I was last year when I set that record, but this year I am stronger in both body and mind.  I felt really proud of myself yesterday and may have even experienced a "runner's high" as I walked my third mile and drove home. 

It was a run worth writing about.


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