September 28, 2014 by scratchtype1
This time of year can scare me some. The sunlight hours are dwindling so now if I wake up from some crazy dreams around 4:30, it’s a much longer wait until it becomes light. I wasn’t exactly sure how things would feel with the legs this morning, I did some hard work yesterday with prepping firewood for winter and this week I had had already run 3 days. The last time that I had run 4 days or more in a week had been the last week of July and beginning of August. Then the reality of needing to rest the left hip took priority, then came the funk from various influences along with possibly the fact I wasn’t running like I had been. It’s been very difficult to shift the gearbox back into running and I found myself vacillating about it this morning, until finally I felt some steel inside me, put the running shorts on and the Xeros and began a run.
There was no particular mileage goal. The blood sugar was perfect to let me run long if I felt like it. But if I didn’t feel like it, I could always just be comfortable around 4 to 5 miles. I started running. The legs felt good. Not great, but good, more spring than on Friday when I last ran. Still I was disappointed some when I glanced down at my watch after the first half-mile and saw that although it felt like my pace wasn’t slow, I was slow for what felt like easy aerobic effort. A little after a mile I made the turn onto the nice stretch of road I have to run barefoot and I stopped at the tree where I pull the Xeros off and put them there to sit. So then I began running. Funny, even though I was moving slower than Friday, my legs felt better than on Friday’s run. Friday I had to fight the whole way the urge to take some walking breaks. I pushed through them that day because I felt like I wanted to build resolve to run no matter how tired the legs felt.
Now today the legs felt better but I was moving slower. The running gods are cruel sometimes. I worked on not thinking about that, but instead just try to enjoy the colors of the eastern sky and the layers of mist gathered above trees. During that first road loop, I realized that a second loop would be no problem. Slow maybe, but no problem. So I did a second loop and I felt the legs loosening up some. The pace got better and so I imagined a third loop. I also began to resolve myself of the idea that I when the watch beeped indicating completion of the 6th barefoot mile, that I would try to run half-marathon pace.
That beep finally came early on the third loop and I accelerated. Mile 1 half-marathon pace, 8:55.24. Mile 2, 8:57.40. Mile 3, the mostly uphill mile, 9:11.23. All right, I told myself, let’s finish strong and see how that goes. Another 1/3 of a mile, covered in 8:12 pace. Not bad, right around 9 minutes per mile pace which would get me under 2 hours in the half-marathon. Not bad, considering my 7 prior weeks with only about 70 miles of running total. No twinges in the hip and the mind felt good. I felt strong while running half-marathon pace, it felt like I still had more to give, but that the pace was well-controlled. I’m sure I’ve lost some training effect with the last 7 weeks, but I’ve still got a lot of improvement in the legs, heart and stride. Now if I can just keep my mood somewhere north of the dark abyss, I can reach the starting line in good shape to beat 2 hours.
The mood has been doing better some with the help of Esperanto. It’s kind of amazing. I’ve now got 3 email conversations with others who don’t speak English or only a little. Yet with Esperanto we’re able to communicate quite well. It’s helping to make me feel more connected.
Finally, a picture of me sitting down after the last run over 10 miles before today’s. From a barefooter’s perspective, I’m pretty sure that the arches of my feet have grown taller over the past 15 months. It’s not a side view, but you can see the depth of the arch in the left foot of the photo.