It was one of those special mornings when all things felt great. I have been missing that lately, feeling like I was lugging around the world and all its problems. But this morning I remembered why I love running so much.
I got out of bed about 8am. At 8:30am I was meeting my running club for a social run. In that 30 minutes I managed to get dressed, scoff two bits of toast with peanut butter and apricot jam, scull a cup of coffee, complete some quick ablutions, and at tempo pace cover the 3k to the meeting spot.
The still air was crisp with the scent of woodsmoke. The sun shone brightly from a clear blue sky. If I was to wish for a perfect autumnal morning this would be my desire. The trees in Hagley Park are saying farewell to summer, dropping multihued leaves and a multitude of acorns. I was not the only one out enjoying this Saturday morning.
My cohorts were waiting although I was not really late. Another couple turned up and we set off for a promised 11k around and about Hagley Park and Mona Vale. It was not going to be a slow run, with the pace quick from the start. We soon split into two groups. I was hanging on to the speedier front group. It is good for me to be pushed occasionally as it it easy to fall into the habit of plodding. Even though we were belting out sub 5 minute ks there was plenty of breath left for conversation. For some reason, maybe because we are all at that stage in life, the topic of elderly parents seemed to dominate. We went around both parks and then looped through North Hagley on our second pass.
Back at our starting point and I chose to run on to our coffee stop, adding another kilometre to my total. Other runners trickled in and we were joined by a couple of non-runners.
We have been having these monthly social runs throughout summer and they have achieved their goal – to keep us connected through the off season, and to keep us ft and motivated ready for the winter season, which opens next month. It also means we are much more in tune with each other’s lives. Again conversation was not stilted.
After a large bucket sized coffee I ran home. It was slower this time, even with 2 litres of caffeine sloshing around. By the time I reached my place I had run just short of 21k. I felt good. I felt strong. I felt better than I have felt about a training run for so long.
So what made the difference? I have eaten more this week, managing to put on about 1/2kg in the process. I haven’t felt so hungry. Consequently I might have more energy. I have also been a bit more diligent about having protein shakes. I didn’t have any pressure to achieve a specific workout. Or to fit it in before work or picking up a child. It was running for fun. And for most of the run I had company whereas usually I run solo.
Whatever the reason, it was a great run. A wow run. I know not every run will or should feel like that but when they do, yes! It is a fist pumping sort of feeling.