Some days, you can't explain the success.
Maybe you haven't been eating right, or drinking enough water. Maybe you forgot to charge your watch. Maybe you used your good shoes a day early and have to settle for the older pair. Maybe you do all of this on one particular Saturday.
And maybe you still end up flying.
This being a step-back week for me, I "only" had to run ten miles today, instead of the next distance in my progression, which would have been 18. My weekly run with my friend had been switched from Sunday to Saturday for this week, but with the wife out of town and two needy little pups at home, it became apparent that I wouldn't be able to separate myself from them in the middle of their morning routine. I had to cancel, unfortunately, and move my run to later in the day, when the dogs would be more inclined to spend some time alone.
Fortunately, the weather has abated somewhat since yesterday, and even though I ended up running around 1:00 in the afternoon, the temperature was some 20 degrees cooler than I'd had the day before. I took a look at my ten mile course, one that I had planned some time ago but never used, and found that it had the same long, hot incline that I'd used on Friday. No thanks. Time for a new plan.
As I worked my way around the neighborhoods with MapMyRun, the extra time turned out to be a blessing, as I'd let the power run out on my watch again. I charged it while I mapped, hoping that this combined with disabling the GPS function would be enough to keep it alive as long as possible.
Out the door I went. Early on, the watch started beeping about its imminent demise. I couldn't help but think that if it stopped using all the energy to beep, perhaps it could last longer. Unfortunately, the watch didn't seem to understand my reasoning. On I pressed, but at every major intersection, I would check to see that it was still running. If it was, I would take note of the time so that, in the event it died along the way, I could take that time over that distance and estimate what my total time had been. Not ideal, but really the best I had to work with at the time.
The unexpected result of this was that I found myself inadvertently trying to improve this possible estimated time. Even though I consciously kept telling myself to keep it slow and maintain a steady pace, part of my brain kept pushing me from one intersection to the next. Now 24 minutes. Now 30. I didn't realize until I reached the 7-mile mark (the only marker I knew) just how fast I was actually going. And still the watch ticked on.
I could feel myself slowing down, craving water, but now it was a real race. Now I could beat the watch, making sure that my time was accurate, and not some estimation. Still, I tried not to push to hard, fighting through unexpected side cramps. The point of these Saturday runs are simply to get in miles. Certainly not to try and race a clock. But when you're that close to the end, you sometimes can't help it. Well, you can, but you won't.
And I didn't. I let my legs fly freely, running my third sub-Boston-paced workout in a row.
Happy Saturday, everyone. I know it is for me.