As I approached the track, I began thinking about my previous two runs. Day 3 of the Couch to 5k program’s Week 7 is another 25-minute straight run. Prior to last week, the longest I can say I have ever run in one go. It takes me a little shy of two miles, or one full length around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir track, and a little ways back to the entrance.
I started thinking about the pattern that seemed to be emerging: I start the run, I dread the distance I have left, I start to feel tired and ache, I start telling myself I can give up when I’m halfway, I make it halfway and keep going, I eventually let myself find out how much longer I have to run, I hit my starting point, I hit the trail to the back entrance, and I see how far I get before the timer stops me.
As the five minute warm up ended, I tried to spy my starting point. With a rough idea of where it is in my head, I started around the track. I hit the point where I had really started dreading it, and nothing. I was still going, and going strong.
I hit the ache point, and kept past it. Decided to run on the grass for a few minutes to try and get some more time before my feet really complain. Nothing. I kept up the pace. I start thinking about one of my two jobs, and a rough idea I am developing.
I approach the halfway point, and have no desire to stop. I pass the pump houses, the second of which marks the two-thirds point. I coolly keep running without checking the time on my phone, strapped to my upper left arm.
I hit the home stretch which takes me back to the starting point. I am more baffled by the woman who stopped at the edge of the track and began doing theatrical squats, complete with raised arms. I wonder if she is praying in what I understand is the Muslim fashion, or doing some form of Yoga I had not previously encountered. I realize that I am staring, but feel a little justified as it is from curiosity, and not judgement. I want to understand, but I have more pressing things.
I pass the start point. I allow myself to check the time, in part because I want to see if I will beat my record.
I hit the steps on the trail. My knee feels shaky at the top, but I don’t slow down this time. I keep heading up the trail.
Finally, I approach the lowered section of path where my runs end. I wonder whether my pace was fast enough to get further than I did on Wednesday.
“Slow to an easy pace to cool down.”
I haven’t even hit the lowered section. I made it further on Monday. But, I still have energy, which is unusual. I consider running a little extra on the way home. In the end, I just walk quietly, as I know I have a long day of retail ahead of me.
And so, week 7 ends. Not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with energy still to expend.
Shin Status: Looking forward to new shoes
Shirt of the Day: Runaway Bros/Five.