Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What It's All About

From a technical performance standpoint, I did not have the greatest run this morning. But, the conditions made for a lovely early morning outing, where I felt very connected with nature and happy to be alive.

I turned my light out while reading Bart Yasso's book at about 10:30, almost an hour earlier than usual, and that must helped my get up at 4:55, before my alarm had the chance to awaken me (thus avoiding bothering my wife).

My legs felt a little sore and sluggish from Sunday's 12-miler and yesterday's weight-lifting session, but I smiled as I placed my watch on the window sill to pick up the satellite signal and saw a hummingbird floating at the feeder outside the kitchen window. What a magical little creature. [We just got a new digital camera, so I'll try to post the pics later.]

As I left my house and ducked into the woods, the air was cool and thick, with mist rising from the fields. I wore a long-sleeved tech shirt and shorts, and felt great temperature-wise during the entire run. I left my iPod at home, which I've been doing more and more often when I run on the trails. I could hear many birds singing their morning songs, and sensed that I just missed several deer along the way, as they must have high-tailed into the woods when they heard my loud plodding steps. I did startle one early-bird neighbor when I materialized from a trail behind his house.

My run took me through thick woods, alongside several streams, around a couple of ponds, along a bike path (next to the highway, but hey, can't have everything) and through open fields. I even got some unexpected "love" from a dozen black labs who were on a guided walk with one of our neighbors who trains them as a post-retirement job. I saw only one at first, but have been on the trails enough at that hour to know that others were nearby. Several jump-ups and licks later, I was on my way.

Because of the leg soreness, I did a little over 5 miles, knowing that this is my last week of "free" running before getting on the training plan. I'm going to try to do 8 plus strides tomorrow morning, as I increase my mileage level back to where it should be before jumping back in to marathon training.

This morning reminded me why I love running, and I'm thrilled to be feeling this way less than 4 weeks since my marathon disappointment and a week before revving up for the next one.


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