This morning, at o'dark thirty, as I climbed on the deck and situated my stuff, I was feeling tired, unmotivated and for some weird reason, a bit nauseous. All sorts of excuses were formulating in my head, but I plugged in the warm-up and started in.
I started out by bargaining with myself....since I wasn't feeling all that good, I would just do a nice, easy 4.2 - 4.3 mph and walk if I needed to.
After a few minutes, I was feeling a bit better so I modified the bargain - maybe bump it up to 4.4 for a while and then see how I felt.
About five to eight minutes of that and I was feeling even better, so up I went to 4.5 and more or less resolved to finish out the hour at that pace.
A little more time ticked away, and then on a lark I decided to increase the speed every few minutes to the point where it was just starting to get uncomfortable and see how long I could maintain it. Ultimately, I ended up at 4.8, a 12:30 minute mile pace, and held it for about fifteen minutes, bumping it up to 5.2 for the last minute or so that got me to 5K. I recovered for a minute or two at 4.0, and then finished out the hour - a while at 4.5, then the remainder at 4.6.
It was fantastic - like my lungs and legs were all having one big party down there, with the exception of a slightly cranky ball joint on my right foot, but even that gave up after a while when it figured out how awesome the rest of me was. I might have even been able to do more, but I didn't want to push it too hard with a really tough 15K coming up this Sunday. Even so, giving how I felt at the end, I am pretty confident I could have coaxed even a bit more speed out the legs. Slowly but surely, I will get that sustainable 12-minute-mile back in my repertoire, and then....who knows? :-)
I was one hot sweaty mess when I was done, which only served to fuel my feeling of accomplishment. Best of all, I was energized, not the least bit sore and absolutely ready to take on the day.
More runs like these, especially on those days when the treadmill is really the only option?