Thursday, January 15, 2009

Running Good Times

Another day, another holiday. Summer brought another sunny day with that familiar gusty Northerly. I threw a few things in a backpack and headed south on foot. I walked to the end of Kingston then dropped onto the City to Sea walkway, emerging a few kilometres later on the Southern Coast. From there I headed east towards Island Bay, and when I got to the beach I stopped.

I read a magazine and I listened to the radio and when I was tired of both and the Northerly kept blowing sand in my face I just sat there and looked.

And there was nothing happening. I spent an hour or so sitting and looking, but there was nothing to watch. When I was walking I had seen a loaded fishing boat returning to shore with a flock of seabirds following it. I had seen ferries coming and going. But in Island Bay no one walked past. The occasional car heading towards Lyall Bay was the only visible evidence of life. So, in the absence of a pressing need to do anything else, I just looked.

And when I got tired of that I walked to the Island Bay shops where I stopped in at the butcher's to buy some of his wonderful sausages. I then crossed the road to the supermarket and bought a few more things for dinner. When I'd finished I jumped on a bus to Berhampore then walked under the hot sun, with my two shopping bags, up long, steep Farnham Street to home. I made a chicken sandwich, drank a cider, and rested for a while.

When it was time I caught a bus back into town for my appointment with my dental hygenist. With clean teeth and dire threats about flossing I left and wandered down the road to the gym. After all of that I got changed, and I ran.

And it was good.

I have no idea why my run was so fantastic. I was on day seven of a running and cycling streak. My legs were much better than they'd been on Tuesday (when I could barely walk), but they weren't completely fresh. I'd walked a lot already today. It was hot and I was a little tired.

All my runs have been hilly lately so I decided I'd try for seven flat kilometres and set out towards Oriental Bay. From the first stride I knew everything was going to click. I felt strong and I quickly slipped into the zone that I've been searching for. I could have kept running forever. Another runner commented that it was a gorgeous evening as he passed and I could only agree. I wasn't sweating that much given the heat, my heartrate stayed remarkably low and I wasn't feeling any pain. I held a good pace without any real effort.

I ran on and on and didn't really want to stop but elected to rein myself in. On the return even the headwind couldn't pop my little bubble of running joy. Seven kilometres turned into over ten. Oh sure, I still spent the return half of the run checking out all the cyclists as they came towards me, but for once I was happy to be in running shoes, not cycling shoes.

The signs were there I guess. The last couple of runs hinted at a slight but steady return to form. My resting heartrate has been sitting around 52, which is the lowest it's ever been. I'm recovering well from each workout and I have plenty of energy. On the bus after the run I was wishing that I hadn't been so sensible and that I'd kept going.

Today's success has made it a lot easier to plan my weekend. I'm going to run for ninety minutes on Saturday then ride over the Akatarawas to Waikanae with Dee and co on Sunday, then on Monday we'll do a recovery ride to Eastborne. Tuesday morning I'll do Dee's RPM and then it will be off to Stratford for Mum's next round of treatment and the Taranaki Cycle Challenge.

And then it'll be time to get serious about the Rotorua Marathon.


Sass said...

Sounds like you've been awesomely committed to your regime over the hols...not that I'd have expected anything less from the Mad Dog! I haven't been running all that much and when I have, they've been pretty slow hill runs so who knows what state I'll be in when I next meet up with the girls for a run! I certainly wouldn't be able to keep up with you:p

Pip said...

I'll talk to you on Monday, but I've sent an email to your work address (I couldn't find your home one) about some sessions Melissa Moon is doing, leaving at 5.30 from the Meridian building on Wednesdays. They're supposed to be preparation for the Gut Buster. I'll be in Taranaki the first week so won't be able to make it.