Last week I had one of my best runs to date. It’s funny that you can’t really tell how a run is going to go until you start putting shoes to pavement. Sometimes things just come together, other times they definitely do not. This was one of the good times. It didn’t start out that way however!
The night before, Julian and I had gone out for a wonderful dinner to celebrate our anniversary. (I assure you, I ate like a king – not like a pauper, that night!) But apparently, it was so good that the next day – it was still with me. When I went to run, I could feel it bouncing around. It was like having a bocci ball in my belly. I’m not talking about extra weight, (I might have gained some from that meal, and if so, it was totally worth it.) I’ve run being heavier than I am now and this was a completely different feeling. This hurt.
But you know, I’ve only been running for a couple of months and already I’ve faced snow, rain, extreme heat, bugs and hills. What’s a little gut pain, right? ugh… yeah.
Nonetheless, it turned out to be a great run. The weather was perfect, sunny and nice, but not too hot. My goal that night was 4 minute run / 1 minute walk intervals for 35 minutes. This is another one of my river parks – Big River Park. (The river is mostly the same size, but this is a big dang park.) It has a walking/jogging/biking path that runs along the water, for what I now know is 2 miles. I parked near one end of the park and took off.
Normally, I would think, “Okay, if I am supposed to run for 35 minutes, I will turn around at the 19 minute mark.” Yes, I know that adds up to 38 minutes, but if I run faster on the return trip I run out of trail! I like to leave a little buffer so I don’t have to double back. This time though I was kind of in a groove, and I didn’t think about it until I hit 20 minutes. By then I was nearly at the end of the park, so… I decided to just keep going.
I knew I was going to over shoot my 35 minutes. I figured if that happened, I’d just walk the last bit back to my car, no big deal. However, something happened around the 30 minute mark – I decided to keep running the whole time. Again, I was doing intervals, so that means I was actually walking one minute for every four of running, but I kept up the repetitions all the way through!
Afterwards I was tired, but not dead. I could definitely feel that I pushed myself harder than I had before; the muscles in my legs were pretty worn out, and yet, I wasn’t a wreck. I felt like if I had had to, I could’ve kept going. It is enough to make me wonder exactly what I am capable of! It’s actually good for me to have a little energy left when I get done, though, because after a run, I still have to drive home. And, as soon as I get home I have to go walk the dog! Jelly legs or no, the pooch cares not.
One other interesting thing – there are lots of people that use this park. There are tons of dog walkers, people playing frisbee golf, fishing, riding bikes, skating, running and pushing strollers. There are fitness classes, sports teams using playing fields and families having picnics. All this you expect to see. What you might not expect is this: