What a difference a haircut makes.
That, and a 20 degree drop in temperature.
As my attempt to get back into my running rhythm continues, I was thrilled to get a chance to get out for an easy four this afternoon. Choosing to go by time rather than distance, I ran out for roughly 15 minutes, and then back the same way. What made this interesting were the 30 mph winds that were whipping down the hill as I made my way back home. But I powered on.
And boy, was I powering. I recently got a rather drastic haircut, so I didn't even wear my hat that I usually have. The difference of feeling the wind on my head made me feel like I was flying, but I didn't have the same experience with my legs, which felt steady and paced, not fast. I got winded a couple times and took a few short breaks to catch it. This return to running cannot be done all in one day, so I know enough to take the process carefully.
The fact that I was tired had me a little concerned, since I didn't feel like I was pushing the pace that hard. My legs, particularly my recently troubling knee, did not hurt at all, which had to mean that I wasn't running that fast. And yet, returning home in under 32 minutes, I found that I'd run over 4.8 miles. This is easily a sub-7 pace, and I hadn't even realized it.
With the race less than two weeks away, I'm driven by a quote I saw on Coach Higdon's Twitter feed the other day, essentially saying that going into any marathon (except the first one), you should never be scared to fail. Go for that PR. If you don't get it, you can try for it the next time, but if you go in expecting failure, that is exactly what you'll find.
In less than two weeks, I'll go for my Boston Qualifier, and if I don't get it, I'll try it next April when I do the Eisenhower Marathon in Kansas (my current plan). In the meantime, I'll run for the enjoyment of it, and not for "training" purposes. I hear that's nice.
But the most important thing for the next two weeks is to stay focused and on track for the marathon. I'm already figuring out a work schedule for the next two weeks that will allow me some time to relax and get all my thoughts on staying with whomever might be carrying that little 3:05 sign on October 30th. There are hundreds of distractions in my life right now, and the people who should be making them better are making them worse. Such is life. And banking.
So I'll take my frustrations out on the pavement, one mile at a time.
71 Degrees, Windy
31 Minutes, 50 Seconds