This is the tale of the two sixes. I’m combining two different six mile runs in this post because they were so wildly different. I have a wonky and a wow. I’m still baffled by my “wonky six” so, even though it hasn’t happened since, I still need to talk about it. If anything, just to get it out. I should note that I’ve run four times since and everything is F-I-N-E.
Then there’s this past Sunday’s Wow…but I’ll get to that. First, the Wonk:
It was a Tuesday night. The first mile of ANY run is always trouble for me. I don’t care where I am – it takes me that long to really get into the run. It doesn’t matter if I’m outside running a beloved route or inside on New Guinea. I always feel discombobulated for the first mile. Tuesday’s prep for the run was pretty routine. In fact, it was almost boring in its sameness. I always pick out socks, tights, bra and shirt (in that order) almost unseeing. Only the shoes rotate. Even the music was same old, same old. [I am so in love with Imagine Dragons it’s ree-dik-yu-luss] So, this run disconcerting in the fact that I never settled down. Mile after mile I kept waiting for the smooth, fluid run. Even after six miles I was without rhythm. Pace was determined by the motor below my feet but stride never felt tick-tock. I cannot tell you how much this perplexed me. Typically, once I find my groove I can run with my eyes closed. My cadence becomes so melodic I almost will myself into a trance. Like driving to work on autopilot and only “waking” upon arrival I usually have something akin to an auto-run on the treadmill. I get off with eyes glazed and a How-Did-I-Get-Here? attitude. Not so on this particular Tuesday evening. Everything felt totally off from the very start. My balance felt over-corrected, my stride was stuttering and when the 6.35 was finally over and I was draped over my knees in pigeon pose I had to ponder the unusual run. Fact: it was the first run after 13.1. Did that have something to do with it? Fact: I felt no pain anywhere whatsoever. Fact: the 6.35 didn’t suck energy-wise. Fact: It wasn’t a struggle to stick to my foundation pace (10:28). Fact: I wasn’t worn out or exhausted by the end of 6.35. In the end I couldn’t figure it out. It was just, for lack of a better word, wonky.
Then, there’s Sunday…as in yesterday. New Guinea and I have been talking about breaking up. We go through this every spring. The weather starts to get nicer and I start wishing for a little variety in my running relationship. Yesterday I turned to Kisa for help and he took me to see Ashley. Oh Ashley! I wish I took pictures on my runs. This place is pretty and pretty cool. There are paths around a reservoir. Some cut through so there is water on either side of you. Some paths are wooded. Some are gravel. Your loops in and around can be as ever-changing or as same as you want them to be. There are inclines and declines and straightaways that stretch on forever. You can dodge goose poop and pedestrians, dog walkers and baby strollers but never feel constrained. It’s not Florence, but it’ll do. So, Ashley. Somehow my planned five miler turned into six. What made this run so Wow was my pace. I came to a complete stop five times (once because the path was flooded and I seriously considered running through the 8″ water. I can’t tell you how long I stood there contemplating how bad/good it would be to just plow right through it.) and my average pace was still right on target for a foundation run. And. And! And, no chafe! (more on that later.)
Two different six mile runs. Two different experiences. On one run I felt like an alien and on another I was flying. Such is the tale of the two sixes.