After my very disappointing run yesterday, today’s great runs were exactly what I needed. (I’ve decided to split to/from Gym Park into two runs, at least for my record keeping — two, sub thirty minute runs divided up by two or more hours of rest are not exactly the same as one six and a half mile run.) (Also, I’m typing this one handed, as I have a sleeping toddler curled up on my lap. Difficult, but divine.)
The weather today was perfect: high thirties, no wind, clear blue skies on the way there, overcast and a bit chillier on the way home. I was a bit trrpidatous about running on my heel two days in a row, especially since it hurt more than I expected yesterday, but I wanted to test it out, and figured I could always jump on the G if it protested too loudly. Besides, I can’t bring myself to spend 45 minutes via train when running takes less than half an hour.
Luckily, my heel felt great the entire way there, and in fact felt better after it warmed up a little. While I’ve returned to heel-striking to lessen the strain on my achilles heel, I focussed on short, quick steps today, and that seemed to help a lot. Instead of having to direct all my attention on how my foot felt, I could simply keep listening to it while letting my focus flow more organically out across the world as well as inward, which is the way I love to run. After feeling so sluggish yesterday (I barely broke a 10 min./mile), today’s 8:36 pace felt practically fleeting. While I took a lot of good running advice away from Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run, the one thing I try to remember every time I head out the door is Caballo Blanco’s philosophy: run easy, run light, run smooth, run happy. It isn’t about a target distance or time, rather the entire experience that is important.
Nat and I had a fabulous time at the nearly empty gym. Besides the two of us, there were just three mom’s, each with a three year old son in tow. There was lots of room to run amuck, and the other kids were close enough to Nat’s age to want to play with him, but older enough not to break easily. I spent a little time having mom conversations with the other parents, but mainly used the time to play with Nat, work out (it is a gym!) and ice my ankle. After two hours of non-stop activity, Nat and I sat outside Cookie Road and had cookies and coffee, then headed home.
I had intended to take the train back, but my heel was feeling so good I ran back instead. I felt a bit slower, though my Garmin put the return trip at only 45 seconds longer, and while my heel ached a bit towards the very end, it still felt quite good even after 6.6 miles. Hopefully it will be up for the Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon in a month. Oh, I forgot to put that on my goal post the other day. (You know your a long-distance runner when you don’t even think to include a half-marathon as a goal).
Well, the toddler is starting to stir in my lap, so I guess I’ll wrap this up. If there is one thing better than a good run, its holding your sleeping son in your arms.