Last night, I was trying to work out how to get in my planned six-mile run and get to my 9:30 PT appointment and beat the coming heat and humidity. I decided that since my regular therapist is on vacation and is replaced by Jim, that he could probably stand me a bit sweaty and wornout whilst doing the laying on of hands and whatnot that therapists do.
I worked out that if I left home at 7:00, I could get to Central Park, do the loop, and make it to my appointment in plenty of time. Then I remembered my running clothes were at the laundry, which doesn't open 'til 7:30. Damn.
It was a quick morning. Grabbed the laundry, quickly trundled it home, changed clothes, stuffed a change of clothes into my bag and hopped on the subway. Arrived at the clinic at 8:15 and stealthily tucked my bag into a corner and left. Plenty of time to get in a six-mile run, It thought. Plus, I'd then have a try at doing the physical therapy with my muscles and connective tissues throroughly warmed up.
And so it went...the humidity was way up today. I've noted before that when you can see the air, it ain't gonna be good -- such was the case today. And it was heating up rapidly too. I didn't stretch properly before I starting running and found the first two miles to go on forever. I stopped at that point and took a few minutes to stretch out better, concentrating on the calves, which were really tight.
Got going again and found mile three to be better, though mile four, with the big hill, just about killed me. Had it not been for the fact I'd left my money and metrocard in the bag at the clinic, I'd have left the park at that point and taken a cab back. Some days I'm such a wuss.
But I went on... and you know what? It got better. A LOT better. Somewhere in the beginning of mile five, I began to feel pretty good -- runner's high I suppose, though I don't think I've ever experienced it like this before -- and by mile six I was once again going at a good 5K clip, which the gentle hills of the southwest portion of the park make easy. I kept on running right out of the park, along 60th street, dodging pedestrians like mad, like it's some kind of game of pinball, turned right on 6th ave, and finally ground to a stop at 57th street, waiting for the light.
Walking from there back to the clinic, and getting my clothes changed in the bathroom, I felt good. Like really REALLY GOOD!! I couldn't believe how loose and relaxed and enervated I was. It felt like....
...like I'd just gotten laid. That's it, this is afterglow! Had I just had a quasi-sexual experience? I suppose it's possible -- the similarities are all there: both activities involve a lot of straining, grunting, groaning, sweating... neither activity is especially pretty, when done right, and usually results in something made of cloth being drenched in bodily fluids... and of course, there's the surprising stamina we can put into these activites, culminating with a rest period after where we feel our best compared to any other time.
Even after changing, walking around in my own personal bubble of afterglow, I still felt sweaty and harrassed and exhausted. But in a good way.