I apologize for the recent rash of enthusiastic running-related posts. Its just that for whatever reason, my run mojo has been found and I'm going with the flow. So indulge me for a bit, while I continue on my ways of being one with the road/trail.
3 posts ago, I talked about the benefits of flexibility in training. This week's long run was a perfect example. I set out Monday night with the intent of pressing my luck at my first dark longer run of the fall, now that daylight savings time has passed and running after work is essentially all in the dark, unless you run on a treadmill in the gym. But that wouldn't be fun, now would it?
As I began my run, my legs felt shockingly fresh, with an extra sense of spring to them. I figured the feeling would pass, like in most cases as the distance increases, but this time it didn't. As I neared the last mile of my planned route, I started to think my legs were feeling too good to stop now. So I began a different run route that would nearly double my planned run. Of course, before deciding, I made sure to do the math in my head that 1) I didn't have any hard workouts within the past 24 hours prior or planned for tomorrow, and 2) This distance wouldn't be outside the abilities of which I have been running. Once I confirmed that such as decision would be safe, I was good to go and thus began my ad-hoc long run!
Once again, the glory of not being on an official plan resulted in an amazing run. Not only did I finish it feeling fresh like when I began, but my pace was faster than any of my long runs I've done in the past 2+ months. I found myself settling into the quiet of running in the dark. The benefit of this is that very few others are out there, so it truly does make for a quiet run. I should note that I do run with a headlamp when it is dark so I know where lies in front of me. However, not knowing what is too far ahead allowed my mind to melt away from being focused on anything other than thinking about the next place my foot will land based on the restricted view of what my headlamp would light up. It was a fun feeling not knowing what was 20 ft or 1 mile ahead. And before I knew it, my run was done. It felt late, since I had been running for quite some time in the dark, but I checked my watch and it was still pretty early...at least there is something to enjoy about it being dark this soon!