Monday, July 28, 2008

I tell myself it's just a blue day

And perhaps that's all it was - a whole series of the darn things. After pouring out a tale of internal woe yesterday today seemed positively cheery.

Perhaps it was being back at work in air-conditioned warmth. Perhaps it was the sun that broke briefly through the clouds mid-morning and bathed my desk in a welcome pool of sun. Perhaps it was a day of eating to plan. Even though I spent part of today filling out my end-of-year performance review document (never a fulfilling task), which led to an inevitable bout of navel-gazing (am I really fit to do this job?), I left work feeling positively optomistic. More than that, I actually spent the afternoon WANTING to run. Yay - I think I might finally be recovering. Perhaps the weekend of rest paid off.

I stuck to the physio's plan though and scheduled that flat 7km run after work. I stopped off briefly to chat to Sarah, who was sitting by the waterfront opposite Frank Kitts reading a book before meeting the former Jog Squadders for their 6pm run. Sarah didn't seem to think that 7km constitued a short run. I begged to differ!

It seemed like every runner in Wellington was out for what must be one of the very few perfectly calm, still evenings of this winter. Sure, it was still overcast, but it was no more than crisp and it was possible to venture outside without being blasted across the harbour or frozen to death. As I crossed over Jervois Quay to the waterfront a woman in a long-sleeved merino top took off past me. In fact, everyone took off past me. I wasn't running that slowly, surely?

Pink merino disappeared off into the distance and stopping for Sarah lost me anyone else who had been in the vicinity when I crossed the road. Despite promising Sarah I wouldn't run too fast pride made me pick it up a bit. Another woman in a long-sleeved blue top ran past then seemed to slow down a bit. I ran a short distance behind her until she stopped near Pt Jerningham. As I ran past I called out to her not to stop because she was setting me a good pace. She looked a little startled so perhaps I should have held my tongue! I'm so dorky that way.

Did I mention it was a beautiful evening? Two rowers stroked gentle laps backwards and forwards near Frank Kitts. Two small yachts were out enjoying the still evening twilight. Gentle swells rolled in, creating ripples in the otherwise mirror-like harbour. Oriental Bay looked terribly inviting, even only if triple-layered in neoprene! Everything took on pastel shades of pink and blue, edged with silver as the sun slowly set. Back across the harbour the city lights were flicking on, a pale orange against all that pastel. When I reached the turn-around point I wanted to keep going. I was good though. I turned back.

The further I ran the better I felt. My form returned as my body remembered what this running thing was all about. I ran a negative split as I allowed myself to push the pace a bit. I enjoyed the feeling of my lungs opening up again, shaking loose the remaining vestiges of this virus. I knew I would have post-run cough this evening.

Pink merino appeared behind me as I was approaching the Jervois Rd crossing again. We ran almost side-by-side, matching strides, all the way back to the gym. As we were stretching I complimented her on her pace and we exchanged a few words about being knocked out by colds and grinding our way through recovery runs.

I did my physio-prescribed glute exercises, stretched a bit, then jumped on a bus back home. Chicken and salad for dinner, a small glass of wine, a wonderfully hot shower ...

The last few weeks of mental madness seem a distant memory, at least for this evening. Am I finally getting better? Was it getting out of the house, away from the cold, or was it the run? Whatever it was, I now feel more like myself than I have done for a little while. It's a relief, to say the least.

Let's see how I feel after 6.30 a.m. RPM tomorrow! I'm pleasantly surprised by how good my legs feel, given the weights and RPM combo I put them through on Sunday (when I upped the leg press quite significantly). I marvel again at how the amount of muscle soreness I experience these days is much less than it was pre-B12 shots.

RPM in the morning, Balance at lunch and Black Tuesday at BATS tomorrow night. Tomorrow should be quite pleasant ...

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