Saturday, September 17, 2005

Let the Mystery Be
I've never been sure how a run or bike ride or swim is going to go. I've been surprised many times. But there have usually been larger, recognizable patterns playing out. I'd be having "a good month" or "a tough couple of weeks." That kind of thing. And the workouts would rarely stray too far from the trend line. Now? No telling.

Thursday I swam about a mile, then did a little 5-mile run in the evening. Wasn't up for any more than that. It was OK. Last night, I skipped my scheduled afternoon swim, walked three miles instead, then when I got home decided to run. The plan: 6 or 7 miles.

After about five strides I said to myself, "My legs feel good." The weather has been unusually cool this September, with the fog persisting past noon and temps peaking in the low 70s -- and by evening dipping deep down into the 60s, with the south wind howling. But yesterday the morning gloom burned off a little earlier and the temps bumped five or eight degrees higher. There was a hint of our typical end-of-summer warmth in the air, deliciously. Was I inspired?

I ran out toward the river by the Yacht Club, then turned around and headed south to the restored wetlands on the edge of town. Hopped the fence, trespassing. Did the 0.8 miles on the old paved road, then hit dirt and circumnavigated that strangely placed Pinot vineyard, running along the levees. Where I was, the sun had dropped behind the western hills, but it still shone bright on the eastern edge of the valley. The skies were clear except for a few wisps of pink-edged clouds just to the left of Mount St. Helena. I scattered some ducks and a great egret on my first 1.1-mile loop around the vineyard, and a few jack rabbits darted out onto the levee, blazed a zig-zagging path, then dived back into vineyard.

I ended up running 10 miles, exactly, in an hour and 18 minutes. That's about 7:50 per mile, which for me is fairly fast. My left hip began to ache, as it always does around Mile 10, but otherwise I was strong and fresh at the end. It was my best run in months. It came out of nowhere. This morning, I'll go out an ride 50 miles or so. No telling how it will go -- until it's done.

1 comment:

dan said...

Nice scene with the sun below the hills to the west and the light on the ridge to the east.

And 10 miles. At the drop of a hat. Awesome.