It's been all about the 30-minute out-and-back fartlek runs these past few outings.
My first couple runs of the year were in the slow-motion range of 11 minutes to 11:30 per mile.
These more recent speed sessions have produced marked improvements, with paces of 9:59, 10:08 and 10 minutes per mile. And that's pushing myself hard.
Today, for the first time in a long time, my legs are chafed between my inner thighs. This has been a good lesson in humility. It's easy to forget how difficult running is and how rewarding shaving off a single second per mile can feel. This was what I was missing last year, when running seemed to have lost its luster.
I was taking running for granted. I was running out of a sense of obligation instead of self-fulfillment. This feels like the first time, back in 2006 when I laced up those cross-trainers that were a size too small and ran barely a mile. The thrill of strained breathing. The puffs of steam on a winter's day. That feeling you get when your legs burn, but you know that only means they're getting stronger.
I remember now why I started running in the first place. It was to feel more alive.
Wherein we get real
Jamoosh reminds us of the colors we should be concerned about on a run: "Running knows only three colors — red when you fall, and black and blue from those other falls that don't break the skin!"
Happy Hour is nearly upon us, teammates! Have a finely brewed weekend. Run well and drink well. Cheers!