Tonight's run - 5.63 miles in about 1:18 - was so amazingly awesome that it deserves a happy picture. I took this about 10 minutes after I'd finished:
I almost didn't go, because generally speaking, workouts at the end of the day have never been very stellar. In fact, they usually suck. And it was very grey and cloudy and threatening to downpour at any moment. I knew I needed to go, though - I've got the Timberline Half looming on the horizon - and the thought of trying to grit my teeth through 75 coma-inducing minutes on the treadmill was literally the worst possible thing I could think of doing, so I dressed down, popped in the earbuds and headed out.
I have rarely been as glad as I was tonight that I decided to go. This run was one of those amazing experiences that literally defines in nearly every way exactly why I do this.
Legs = power from the toes up. Felt stronger than they have in weeks.
Lungs = wide open. Cardio Party for the win!
Mind = totally engaged, in the moment, no whining.
And - for the first time ever - I managed to run all the way up a certain hill that has kicked my ass every single time I've ever tried it, up until tonight. No walking, except for a 30-second stint when I got to the top!!
And speaking of walking...I estimate I walked for a total of 5 minutes or less - and the only reason I stopped moving at any point was due to crosswalk signals. Five measly minutes of walking during a 5+ mile run is phenomenal for me right now.
I think the only downside was that for the latter half of the run, I kept wondering when the other shoe was going to drop - it was going too well, I felt way too good, something was bound to start bitching, cramping or just plain crapping out, because this has been a pretty common occurrence lately. By the time I hit mile 5, I was getting a small, hinky twinge in my glutes and hip flexors, but it was low-key enough so that I was easily able to just flick it off the radar, like an annoying little bug.
It started to rain as I headed back up my street for the last ten minutes or so, but it was great. There was absolutely nothing that could ruin this run, short of taking a face plant in the middle of the street. The little (but steep) hill right before my house forced me to walk a bit, but by then I was so pleased with the whole experience that it didn't even matter.
I owned it, totally owned it this evening, and this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I run.