Many of my recent posts talk about coming back from injury, feeling like a beginner runner, and being a tad bit slower than I’m used to. And feeling slow. I referenced myself as a stomping gorilla, wondering if I’d ever run free again.
Then, this week happened. It’s only Wednesday, so who knows what the next few days will bring, but we’re off to a great start.
run with friends
Abbe invited me for a run/dinner combo on Tuesday night, and I am never one to say no to a run…and especially Abbe’s cooking. (Note: If you want to run a weekday evening, plan ahead otherwise I run in the morning/afternoon!) Abbe originally was going for speedwork, but wasn’t feeling 100% so we scaled back to “just” a run. It was a dark, on the cooler side yet perfect for running. In the past few weeks, I’ve been sad that I somehow missed the “shorts and long sleeve shirt” running weather…which is basically the best running weather there is.
This weather is back, and it’s amazing. Abbe and I set off for Central Park, entering at Engineer’s Gate and heading south to round the lower loop. I didn’t pay attention to my watch when it beeped, and we just ran and chatted. Running around this time is one of my favorites…when the marathon is over and it gets colder, the park empties out. While this town is full of runners, there are still plenty of people who only train for the marathon and then stop for the winter. I love when the park is emptier and full of more year-round runners.
The pace was easy, just what I was looking for, and it was a beautiful night for a run. We headed back to Abbe and Baker’s to enjoy some food, drinks, and good conversation. Abbe set to work making dinner, and I was lucky enough to sample some leftover pimento cheese crostini with prosciutto. Abbe’s not kidding…this stuff is good.
Dinner was pasta with kale pesto and sundried tomatoes. I’m going to come over more often…at least I can bring the wine? Maybe I’ll make cookies next time…
Oh, the run? 4.35 at 8:55 pace. I’ll take it.
Thanks for the run (and dinner!) Abbe!
the run i’ve been waiting for
I will definitely admit that the run last night didn’t feel as slow as I would like to think a near-nine minute pace would feel. Pre-injury, I don’t think I ever ran anything close to that, even on recovery runs. (I know, I know, I should be running that slow sometimes…) Needless to say, I definitely had that on my mind as I laced up my shoes to head out for my run today.
Speaking of my shoes, my legs have been a little achy following my runs, and my shoes feel a little bit run down. Hence, time for my fifth pair of purple Brooks Ravennas to enter my rotation:
They’re so clean! It’s amazing! I’ve been running in Brooks since I was 17 years old, starting with the Adrenaline and switching to the Ravenna in 2010. I love these shoes and you will have to personally pry them off my feet to take them away from me.
Anyway, back to the run. I decided I wanted to run about eight miles and while it’s a little annoying to run across the entire width of Manhattan, I haven’t been over to the West Side Highway in awhile, so I made my way over. This run always makes me a little bit nervous because it was on an eight mile run on the WSH in July that I had to walk all the way home because my back pain came back. Obviously it wasn’t related to running that path, but it just brings back bad memories of crying while sitting along the Hudson. (Not I’m not really dramatic, okay?) But…I really like running along the Hudson so I had to try again.
It was a beautiful day for a run…sunny, in the 40’s. I like it already. My legs didn’t feel tired or achy at all, and the new shoes felt a bit like running on clouds. I made it across Manhattan, pondered running through Riverside Park, but decided to run south.
I was feeling good. Really good. Then, it was just one of those runs where my legs take over. I’m not even thinking about it and my legs are moving. I haven’t had one of those runs in a long, long time and certainly not since injury…but it’s amazing. I ignored my watch and just ran…don’t think, just run. (Hi Jeri!) That flying feeling that I’ve been looking for came back and I finally, finally felt like I was flying once again. Nothing too crazy, looking back at my watch I hit a 7:30 mile. Back in the day, I wouldn’t have batted an eye at a 7:30 mile, but it looks amazing right now. And my legs were just going.
I have a little bit of natural speed in me, and I think I’m a bit of a natural runner, but feeling clumsy for the past couple months has been hard, and this is one of the first runs in awhile that I didn’t feel like some sort of imposter of my former self. My legs took over, and a huge, HUGE smile came across my face multiple times. This is why I run, this is what I’ve been missing.
I ended up running ten miles at an average pace of 7:45. SUB EIGHT. I have no words. I know that my next run might be back to that stomping gorilla feeling, but runs like these give me confidence that my old runner self is in me and will come back with time.