This morning I had a tempo run on schedule.
I woke up and knew within about .2 seconds that 8:00 miles were not on the agenda.
I did a body pump class yesterday, which was great, but it included several leg lifty things, meaning many squats and lunges. Needless to say, I had some unhappy hamstrings upon waking up.
However, I dragged myself out to do what I could, resolving that just getting the miles in was more important than the timing. And it was good that I started off with that mindset…because those first two miles were butt ugly. I felt awkward, slow, and just groggy.
Very standard for the beginning of a morning run with sore legs—I am sure you can relate.
But then, at my self designed halfway point, I decided to get over myself and kick it up. Miles 4, 5, and 6 clocked in around 7:50, which was very encouraging. Although it wasn’t the amount of distance I was supposed to cover at tempo pace, I was glad to get in some quick miles.
Ended with 7.1 miles in 55 minutes even. I’ll take it.
The truth is that when it comes to speed, my body is definitely stronger than my head most of the time. Normally, when I start picking up my pace, it’s unintentional—and I feel great. Then I look at my watch, get scared that I won’t be able to hold it, and slow down. It’s like my body wants to go fast, but then my brain gets scared and hits the brakes. I tried to push through this a bit today, and although I’m definitely feeling some tired legs, it did feel good to not let the watch scare me.
In running, I always love knowing that slowing down is an option. It makes me feel better about the times I want to go faster, and it’s comforting to know that no matter what speed—running is still running.
Afterward, per standard post run procedure, I felt great. Sweaty, tired, and satisfied.
I realized this morning that one of the primary things I feel when I finish running is…clean.
Strange, of course, because I’m normally everything but clean. In fact, I’m rather gross a lot of the time.
However, there are few times when I feel fresher than immediately following a run. It’s like through the sweating and panting, the grime of the day before just washes out, and I’m left with a fresh start.
So despite the stank and salty face and all that, I would say that just after a run is the cleaniest I feel. Of course, the greatest sense of cleanliness is the mental detoxification that happens along the way. As the saying goes…I never leave a run in the same place as I started. And 100% of the time, I always feel better afterwards. Cleaner, fresher, and lighter.
I think this is why that post-run shower always feels oh so good. You’ve already rid your body and mind of the waste it was holding onto, and the actual soap-and-shower process wipes clean all the residue of that grime.
What am I trying to say in this post? Why knows. I hardly ever know, actually.
I suppose it’s just to remember that running is refreshing, and it does an incredible job of extracting the dirt we carry around that perhaps we weren’t even aware of.