Today was one of those days where I wasn’t really sure about what I actually wanted to do for a run. It is still fairly warmish and more humid than I enjoy, but I am still running around in shorts and a t-shirt, so that is a really good thing.
After walking the dogs, I decided to head into town to run on the treadmill for a nice recovery run after yesterday sufferfest on the Cony Track. While I am not a big fan of doing that kind of thing very often at this point in my life, it was necessary (at least in my opinion) and reminded me that I can do more than I want to at times. No, that is not a mistake in wording, sometimes I forget how stubborn I can get and when I get in the correct mindset, the old body does better than I think it can.
While on the way to the gym, I happened to look in the rear view mirror and holy hell, hair was curling out from under that hat of mine. I hadn’t realized how much I needed a haircut. So I headed for Super Cuts and got the gray locks trimmed down to milspec again. I am too damned old and set in my ways to have flowing locks or curls coming out the side of the hat. 😉
So I got to Planet Fitness and looked at my email and saw that Jon and Mike had invited me to run with them at 11:30. Which meant that I had an hour and a bit to figure out something to do. I thought about doing my upper body workout, but I decided to do 5.0 miles on the treadmill and if I was still feeling decent go out with them.
It was going to be the test of how well my leg was feeling, since I also planned on mowing the roadside this afternoon as well.
I put the treadmill on 6.8 mph and ran the first 4.0 miles without thinking all that much about anything. When I got past that point I picked up the pace for the last mile a little. I was feeling pretty good when I stepped off the ‘mill and figured that I could go ahead and run 3-4 with Mike and Jon.
Now, I had wanted to run inside on the treadmill for a reason. It was hot and humid outside, yet here I was doing a double workout with the second session an outside run in conditions that I had planned on purposely avoiding. Like Jon said, “runner’s are gluttons for punishment!” 🙂
We started pretty comfortably and maintained that pace for most of the run. Actually I was feeling pretty good and that is a pace I generally can maintain in most conditions. We gabbed and got caught up on what each other had been doing over the past few weeks. It was great to just listen and add in a comment here or there, it certainly helped to pass the time along.
Coming back up Leighton Road, I found a really comfortable stride and kind of went into my runner’s trance and just zoned from the fire station up to the corner. I was there listening to the two of them talking, but I was focused on the moment. It was one of those zones where I could have picked up the pace, but out of respect for the other runners I didn’t.
At the Corner, Mike dropped off and told us to keep going without him, I don’t like leaving running partners behind, but he was pretty adamant, so Jon and I kept running. We finished the last mile a little quicker and then I walked back up the route looking for Mike. One of the basic things that I learned a long time ago, you never leave without checking to see if everyone is okay. I didn’t see him out on the course, so I figured he had taken the shorter route back to the gym.
When I got back to the locker room, he was sitting on the bench, so I felt better about things.
I don’t get into those zones very often, especially when it is a hot/nasty day, but for a change everything just clicked and I felt good, but the next time I have a feeling that Mike and Jon are going to make me pay for today.
These two runs are definitely not the runs that I had planned for today, but sometimes you just have to go with the gut feeling and do what it says versus what you originally planned.
Yes, I did mow the roadside lawn this afternoon and in many ways that was worse than either of the runs. Who knows maybe mowing more this summer is part of the reason that I have been running better in the hotter weather this summer. The leg passed the test, but just to be cautious I did ice it after I got done mowing and it feels fine tonight. 🙂
Whatever the reason, this was one of my better workouts this year because while I had a short rest between the two run, I still did 9.0 miles at a decent pace in a short amount of time.
I love it when I get into that zone! Makes all the tough runs worth it:)
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