I was truly amazed at how I felt post AR 50. I was running up in Cool 5 days after the race. A day that was pouring, freezing, the trails were like rivers and I was out there running with a smile on my face and laughing at how when Anthony and I finished the run we both commented that this was when we should have started our run as it had stopped raining.
I remember my first 50, and how I wasn't running for at least 2 weeks and when I did finally go for a run my legs still felt like crap. Amazing how my body is getting use to the distance, how my body remembers what it needs to do when running that distance and amazing how I still want to run that distance and beyond. Just like buzz lightyear says " To Infinity and Beyond" well how about "To 50 and beyond!"
In the first week after AR50 I logged 25 miles, and the following week I managed 34 miles on a very hectic work schedule. My first run back was in Cool. I was out scouting with Anthony and he invited me along. Plus with the icky weather it was really great to be with someone. I knew we were doing at least 6 and than we tacked on a additional 3 miles after our scouting expedition. The 6 miles were very challenging, but fun. We battled the freezing wind, it was so cold in fact that we ran maybe 20 feet and we both sprinted back to the car to get our gloves as our fingers were frozen. If you know me I don't usually wear gloves. The rain was coming down at times and the wind was constant. The trail to say the least was muddy, with rivers flowing through it. For those of you who ran Way Too Cool, you remember the stream crossing at the beginning before you come back to the fire station? Yeah, that stream crossing was up to my knee and Anthony could only laugh at me. Good Times, and you know what I wouldn't change it for anything. Our additional 3 miles were on the pavement, up the road a bit and back. I turned around because the wind was blowing me over or maybe that was my legs talking. All in all it was a great day on the trails. A run I will not soon be forgetting.
The second week I found myself very busy at work with a trainee and other things going on. That upon arriving home I really didn't feel like going for a run and I would have those conversations and just about talk myself out of a run. I think I only "talked" myself out of a run once, well maybe twice. But I think it was for the best as my legs were feeling really funky after work and during some of those runs. Last weeks runs were more developing that mental toughness and also digging deep and accepting the heat. It was warm, like 85/90 degree days warm. For me that is not good, but I knew I needed to run and run I did. My longest run was 13, around the lake and than I just focused on getting the miles in where I could. 34 miles is pretty good considering the crazy schedule and overall funky feeling in my legs.
Than there are days like today, where everything clicks and everything is feeling strong. Maybe it had to do with some recent reading inspiration or maybe it had something to do with some tough feedback at work, what ever it was I was on fire today for my 6 miles. I actually put on my Garmin and found out I was holding 8:30/8:40 minute per mile for 6 miles. Pretty quick for me as I usually run around 9 minute range. Maybe I was pushing myself a bit more today, maybe I had something to prove, maybe just maybe I run better when the emotions are all jumbled and I need to clear my head. What ever the reason I have no excuse not to be hitting those numbers consistently going forward.
I also know that I need to be more aggressive with my hill training. Hill repeats are on the schedule for this week, looking like maybe tomorrow that is the plan.
All I know is; today something came alive. And I want that feeling to stay.