Saturday, December 6, 2008

Don't Call It a Comeback

56 mins.
8-8.5 miles

Before I detail this run, let me just say that I'm marking this date on the calendar as the first time I have felt good running hard since before MCM. Seriously. I finally felt like my old self today, and it couldn't have come at a better time.

But back to the beginning. The day started with a drive out to Braselton, Ga where I Brooks-ed up a local road race. If you think mid-20 degree weather feels cold while running, let me assure you it feels even worse when you're just standing around watching other people run. However, it was all worth it for the quote of the morning, spoken by a middle-aged man who was chatting me up before the race.

Dude: Hey, isn't that guy on your car the one who died?
Me: (Pausing while I realize he is thinking of Ryan Shay) Um, no.
Dude: Because if so you guys should really do something about that.
Me: Yeah, no, he's very much alive. Thanks for the heads up though.

Were he actually dead, as Jilane said, the flames would be viewed as most inappropriate. Anyway, so after standing around at this race for a few hours and gradually losing all feeling in my extremities, I went over to the sponsoring store, Runners Fit, to work the floor for a few hours. By the time I got home it was nearly 4pm and I wasn't feeling motivated to drive out to the river to run. I decided it might actually be better to run on the bike path in Candler Park and Inman Park. For starters, there's no mile markers (or at least not consistent ones), so compulsively checking the pace wouldn't be an option. Also this route is gently rolling throughout, aggressively so on the second half, so I knew I would constantly be working even if the pace dropped off.

My setup at the race, including the very much alive Brian Sell

Basically I just felt great on this run. I started dropping the pace almost immediately and kept up the intensity throughout. I would estimate I ran ~43-45 minutes at "tempo" effort, which I would put somewhere in the neighborhood of 6.5 miles. No way to know for sure, really, but that's not even the point. This run was reminiscent of a few months ago when I did a similar effort on almost the exact same route; I felt like I was continuously pressing yet remained fluid throughout. Definitely a confidence booster given how I've been feeling lately. I'm still going to fight Jilane for the short leg of the relay next weekend, but at least I know I'll be able to run respectably.