Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Recalling an afternoon run

There are those moments. They just come and you heed.

There are days when you suddenly feel an urge to do something. It was like that for me Thursday last week.

I already had my scheduled 10k tempo run in the morning, a 49-minute effort at 4:52/km average pace.

I was up early for the run as usual, and again I had to give in to my body's craving for the comfort of the soft bed after lunch. I was up in an hour and was whiling the time away watching "Run For Your Life," the documentary on New York City Marathon's Fred Lebow, when it struck me.

I felt re-energized and ready for an afternoon run. After craving for the comfort of the soft bed, I now seem to be craving for the feel of the road on my feet and the touch of the warm summer breeze on my sweat-soaked body.

I have had other afternoon runs, and even in much cooler weather, I knew they had a way of making your lungs burn early and leaving you gasping for breath almost all throughout the route. It is already summer, and that would heighten the discomfort. But I didn't seem to care.

I changed to my running shorts and shirt, laced up my Asics Sortie Marathon Duo racing flats and headed out for the dirt road that looped around the area where we lived. It was roughly 5 kilometers in distance, a mix of gravel and dirt, over rolling terrain. Even before I hit the first kilometer mark, I already had to go through two short gnarly uphills, my feet shifting here and there on the uneven rocky road. Yes, it's more than an ice cream flavor in these parts.

Going into my second kilometer, my feet were more than happy to be on friendlier packed dirt, not to mention the long downhills. I was still feeling a slight burn in my lungs and gasping a bit for breath, but was becoming a bit more comfortable. It couldn't be worse anymore unless I go all out which I don't plan to do. I was in my comfort zone by the time I was going into the last three kilometers of the loop.

I finished my run in 38 minutes, a 5:38/km effort.

Passing a group of children playing in the afternoon sun as I was winding up the run, I can't help but smile. I felt a sense of oneness with them. Yes, I heed the urge to run and I am young again, a child at play.

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