Gear: Lunartempo 2s, Apple watch, that’s it

Excellent effort today. 8 miles at 8:16 pace, with the first mile at 8:32, and the seven subsequent miles all around 8:10 – 8:20. Since it’s been raining off and on, it’s slightly cooler than it has been, but the humidity is high, and the air feels like a soggy blanket. The flowers are blooming all over the place.

From the first step of the run, my legs felt super heavy, which tells me I didn’t fully recover from the weekend. I’m not surprised. I slept pretty badly last night, and I ate a whole lot of pizza for dinner. I have been starting out runs at what feels like a relatively slow pace, and then three-quarters of a mile in I’m looking at my watch like, “How much longer?!” It’s probably a combination of three things: incomplete recovery, as I mentioned; the fact that I’m still not used to the heat, and it’s going to get hotter; and an eagerness that I cannot control, which is something I will not attempt to stifle. The first factor I can remedy, the second factor will hopefully solve itself, and the third I will let run its course.

This run had three somewhat distinct stages, the first being an easygoing period where I held myself back knowing the present pace, which felt comfortable at the time, would be hard to sustain after 45 minutes. The second stage was noticeably more difficult, as I was running about 10 to 15 seconds faster per mile in 80 degree/80 percent humidity weather. The third stage, the last two miles, was very difficult. My legs no longer felt heavy, and my breathing felt fine, strangely. When I am that fatigued, it’s like the receptors in my brain stop identifying a specific source of breakdown, and go on whole-body alert. Like if there was a diagram of my body, like an EKG or something, and the part that was about to give out was flashing red, the whole outline of my body would be flashing. That might not make any sense. Let me try again. Everything in my brain was telling me that I should stop running. There, that’s better.

Breaking through that barrier is the difference between a solid workout and a workout where I just go through the motions. Of course, not every workout can be as intense as this one, but that grit always has to be there beneath the surface, and more importantly, I have to be willing to reach down and pull it up. I started this post off with a picture of flowers and now I’m talking about mental and physical toughness.

Last, I found some quiet on my run today. I haven’t written about what I call “quiet” yet because I haven’t found it on any of the runs detailed in this journal thus far. A basic definition I’ve landed upon is – the absence of distraction. It is so much more than that definition can provide, but in very few words, quiet is the absence of distraction. How valuable is that? In this world, it’s more valuable than anything else.

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