There are those runs where everything falls into place, and feels fantastic. You are moving fast, but effortlessly; your heart rate is high enough for the endorphins to kick in, but not enough to tire you; you feel as if you could keep going forever, and wish you would. Then there are those runs that fall short of this ideal. They are just training miles, ground you are covering and logging, in anticipation of the good runs and races that make it all worth while. And then there are runs like today.
I have nothing to blame for today’s run, but my own condition. The weather was beautiful, almost like summer, and sunny, but still a cool 50F. I headed out, so happy to be running again. I am, however, in the midst of fairly bad cold, and jabbed my heel with a sharp object just last night. The heel pain was like a blister, sore during the warm up and cool down, but not during the run. My lungs however, first weakened from two weeks of not running, and now more so because of the cold, were not up to the task. This is so different from how I felt before my enforced hiatus, where every part of my body, except my bad knee, felt like it could run forever. Today my chest was tightening with each step, and my breathing was labored, and I was slow.
These runs, as many will tell you, make the good ones all the sweeter. In theory I agree, although I wasn’t so sure as I was hunched over while climbing he last large hill. There was a time when the act of running itself was a challenge to me. No matter the pace, covering ground in a run was exhausting and difficult. Now it is the course or the pace that is challenging, but running is like walking– something I just do. Days like today remind me that being able to run is in fact something special, and has not always come easily to me. My only hope is that most of the problem was my cold; I would hate to think I lost that much fitness in two weeks (especially since I spent hours at the gym trying to get in some form of cardio– it turns out Zumba is really quite fun).
My mother is in town this weekend, and tonight we went to Come Fly Away, the Broadway production by Twyla Tharpe. It was fantastic, a full length dance number, with enough of a story arc to be riveting, and both skilled dancing and creative choreography. It was also two hours of a live Big Band playing the background music for the late Frank Sinatra. I can think of much worse ways to spend a Saturday night.