I been running this summer, combating the other-worldly heat this summer ("feels like 117"), trying to build my base back up after a year and a half off due to injury. With my co-worker L, I have been running three times a week at noon on the Mall five miles each run, with a "long" run on Saturday morning with John on the W&OD Trail.
My bum left ankle feels tweaked from the twenty-mile weeks I have been putting on it, despite the cortisone shot it received awhile ago. But I dutifully pull on my ankle brace each run and make sure I get out four times a week. I used to run five times a week at 9:00 miles 35-40 miles each week, but times have changed. (L keeps me honest on our runs. Her husband is a hero who returned recently from deployment in Afghanistan.)
Now I trundle about at 17-21 miles each week at 10:00 miles and love its effect upon my out-of-shape conditioning, having dropped to 205 pounds in the last half-year, halfway yo the return to my former "ideal" weight. My running buddy L is coming back from C-section surgery while I am rebounding from hernia surgery. I keep my mouth shut, as this woman who used to be considerably slower than me now pulls me along. I satisfy myself with the thought that I have made her faster.
So this morning, I resisted running "long" as I lay in my bed, content that L was on vacation so I didn't have to look forward to five miles with her on the Mall. I decided to do a "speed"workout.
Without pulling on my brace, I went to the curb to run my neighborhood mile to see what my speed had become (or dropped to). I used to be able to pull these runs off in 6:50s. (Mein John.)
Off I went, running on feel. Although I set my watch, I determined not to look at it, even once, during the mile. I didn't want to hurry up my run to meet a goal or slow it down due to despair if I was fading badly midway.
I felt good running uphill the first part, feeling like I was moving with alacrity. My labored breathing didn't hinder me as I was able to manage my discomfort of being out of breath during my exertion. Half a year ago this would have been crippling.
Coming back on the out-and-back, I resisted several times checking my progress on my stop-watch and came into the zone of a placed radar-zone display for approaching traffic to dampen speeding in residential areas. I ran full on directly into its sweet zone and couldn't generate a reading for my speed. Huh!
At my driveway, the ending point, I hit my stopwatch and saw 8:01. If I had been monitoring my time I would have busted the eight minute mark. I am very happy with my current speed.