Sometimes I surprise myself. I mean, I *really* surprise myself. This is one of those times.
It was my birthday yesterday and, for the most part, it wasn’t a good day. Not that anything bad or terrible happened, I just wasn’t in the right mood for a birthday.
I always get quite melancholy and reflective on the day, and as my years advance those feelings tend to become more and more pronounced. I’ve no idea why.
Anyway, today (Sunday), I was still suffering a bit of an emotional hangover from yesterday. I napped a lot, I lacked energy and drive. I knew a run would help me but I had no desire to go out for one. I had already changed into my gear once, but sat on the edge of my bed, decided I wasn’t up for it and changed back again.
Then, this evening, I decided to give it another go, even if it was only a mile. A short run is better than no run.
As usual I walked up to the top of the road to begin, taking my normal route along the dual carriageway towards the industrial estate which I know to be a mile. If it wasn’t going well I’d turn at the halfway point and go back home.
But it went well. It went very well.
Usually in a run the first mile or so is agony as my legs object in as strong as way as they possibly can to being dragged out and forced to work.
Not tonight. I bounced along the road, my Hoka Clifton 3 trainers seemed to come into their own and I really felt the benefit of their ample cushioning. They’ve always been comfortable but tonight seemed different.
That first mile was just short of being my quickest ever so I decided to push on to see what I could achieve. I thought I’d try a second mile, surely I’d blow up after all that speed but it didn’t happen. Mile two was only marginally slower.
What was going on here? My legs still felt good, the burning I’d expect at this stage in a run didn’t happen.
Regular readers of my blog might know what’s coming next. I sometimes think I’m a bit obsessed with my 5k time. It’s my default distance, and often the benchmark by which I measure how successful a run is going to be.
Well, tonight it was very successful. Two miles down, 1.1 to go – a new PB was on. And not only was it on, it was potentially going to be smashed.
But it wasn’t smashed. It was obliterated! I knocked it out of the park by a full 49 seconds, a huge amount over a short distance like that. That third mile was slower, but still faster than the vast majority of my first mile in most runs.
I’m not entirely sure what happened tonight. I didn’t feel like running but, maybe, once I got out there something in my subconscious kicked in and forced me on to blow away the darkness of the weekend.
Or maybe I’m just over thinking it. Conventional running wisdom suggests that it takes around three weeks to really feel the benefit of a long run … three weeks ago I did my second London Marathon (still feels weird saying that) – coincidence? Maybe it’s nowt to do with the mental side of things and just an indication I’m continuing to get fitter.
Who knows? Who cares really? Just let the facts speak for themselves …