Oh my. I didn't know that I was still capable of having runner's high runs. I thought I was destined for the that-didn't-hurt-so-it-must-be-good kind of runs. Like my 13.5 miler not too long ago, I just assumed that it was really good when I trotted along at a decent pace without much effort.
But yesterday, I was head-in-the-clouds euphoric.
the first 3/4 mile was not all roses and puppies, but the other 6.25
miles were bliss. I took advantage of the low (re: 30%) humidity and
shady Greenway. It was still warm, but I felt really comfortable. I
liken the summer's humidity to training inside a centrifuge. So I felt
very free yesterday to just breathe. Aaaahhh...
I was running
at a tempo pace for most of the run averaging an 8:01 pace overall. I
wasn't lollygagging, but somehow I still felt as though I was just
enjoying the moment. There was a fleeting moment of me thinking I
should just run until I felt like stopping. But being grossly under prepared for a long run (no fanny pack of water/gels), I decided
that would just be silly.
I embraced the euphoria. I kept my
eyes away from the ground and soaked in the scenery. I listened to the
world's cheesiest mix on my iPod. I stopped hugging the right side
tight and actually veered towards the center lane. I know, I know, really living on the edge stuff....
As I was
walking to my car as I finished, there was a runner (I could just tell)
about to begin her run. She was about 20ish years older than me and I
was immediately struck by how I idolized her. She looked confident,
calm, and wryly smiled at me when we passed each other. Her running
clothes screamed "I care enough about my appearance, but I don't
obsess". Her physique suggested that she was ridiculously in shape, but
she wasn't afraid to eat a donut or have an extra glass of wine.
She was my hetero-running-futuristic-stranger crush.
As if I needed
a another reason to keep this a lifelong habit.... However, fresh
inspiration never hurt. She has no idea that she inspired me. There
are plenty of 'strangers' on the Loop that probably have no idea they've
inspired me. I feel like inspiration is a pay it forward kind of
thing--I can only hope that sprinkle a little inspirational dust wherever I go.