...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!