I really dislike runs following hard runs, and by any measure Sunday's lightning run was a hard run (although I didn't push the end like I would have in a race and in fact kept my breathing measured but heavy throughout). The "day after", or two days after for us chronically age-impaired runners, makes for stiff muscles and aching feet and, maybe, shins.
It was no different today. My goal was a nice 5.9 mile rolling run out-and-back along Buffalo Bayou, my familiar work-related outdoor run. I doubted even that would happen in the first half-mile or so, as the kinks were whining for some attention. But never doubt the body's ability to roll when you least expect it.
Once I got past the first two hills, among the top three on this run in difficulty, my speed seemed fast, but my breathing was ragged and my stride seemed really short. I went past another runner with authority, through a couple of known time checkpoints in good shape, but still felt awful.
And here's where it gets interesting (finally): I told myself, like I did years ago when running cross country or when doing some serious mountain climbing, that I would simply, and could simply, take more discomfort than the next guy. So I maintained the pace back to the shop, and looked down to see 45:12. Not so impressive, it seemed to me.
So when I got on the computer and put in the numbers, it said I had run a 7:39 pace for 5.9 miles. Very good. Particularly considering the start, how I felt, and the hard run less than 43 hours before.
This is five runs in a row now that have been very good. I'm starting to think of another goal I may talk about tomorrow.