September 7, 2005

September is always perfect

...why? you may ask. Well, for one thing, this is the month I was born. For another, the weather's is always great. In fact, it's one of the details that sticks in my mind about 9/11 - that the weather that day was just beautiful -- clean, fresh, cool air blowing in off the water, a sky so blue you wanted to laugh in joy... Well, let's just say there are a lot of September days I remember, mostly for the weather.

Today's weather is no different. I ran a snappy 6-miler in Central Park this morning in 76 degrees.

I was daunted by the prospect of six miles as a "medium" run at first. I'd only just finished eight last weekend, how can I consider six a medium run? I was afraid I might be pushing inury. But whatever.

I started out at a slow, easy pace, allowing my knees and legs to really warm up after my early-am PT session. I had a few aches and pains that nearly shut me down: doubts. I told myself my doubts were stupid, that these pains were just warm-up tings and should go away in the first mile. And they did.

Soon enough - way too soon I thought - I was passing the big cat at mile one...could that be right?? then I was on the flat, straight stretch passing 96th street. This was too easy! How could I be entering mile three alrea-- oh, wait, mile three is almost over: here's the long downhill and there's the 125th street subway station! Huh.

Mile four was uphill uphill u-p-h-i-l-l for the first half mile. Chug chug, ug, ug. I shortened my stride, but didn't slacken the pace but a little bit - and stuck to that all the way up the Heartbreak Hill, passing landmarks I knew. There's the overhanging rock, there's the exit off to the right and... wow, I'm at the top already!?! Good job, bro.

A bit of a runnign rest as the last of mile four was flat, then a few bunny hills in mile five. Began to get pretty tired here (I had brought along only water, no HEED) but was thankful I'd scarfed a small chocolate bar before the workout.

Soon enough, I began to feel my energy coming back and my pace picking up. I realized that I had consciously started out slow and had been slowly picking up the pace as I warmed up. Now, mid-way through mile five, I think I was running a bit too fast; definitely a 10K pace, but didn't take it down. I was almost done: look! there's the Sheep Meadow!

Mile six FLEW by. For the last 3/4 mile, my legs were really moving and I was thrumming along at 5K pace at least -- call it a 9:20 estimated pace. I don't run that fast very often, but I'll take it as I get it.

I finished the run catching up to runners I'd previously been passed by and - sort of - not wanting to stop. I could easily have pushed out another mile or two at that pace, and definitely another three or four if I notched it down. Well, the schedule is the schedule. Six it said, six I did.

I was taken completely by surprise at the strength, power, precision, and overall rightness of today's run. I hope September continues to bring such fantastic workouts!

3 comments:

Danny said...

Awesome! My favorite 6 mile course as well!

I'm back running today. Hopefully it will keep up, and maybe I'll join you in the park one of these (September) days.

partyrunner said...

ooh nice. i ADORE run days like that! adore, adore, adore them! seriously those runs can get you through weeks of so sos. it's like catching that perfect wave. i'll be in the water all day sucking at surfing or bodysurfing, then it's one and i know i'll be back.
also, september is also special for another reason...ski season is right around the corner...

Brooklyn said...

Now if my proofreading skills would just be as good...haha