I woke up this morning in a bad mood - stressed, grumpy, and wanting to do just about anything but go for a run. But I only had four miles on my schedule today, and there's a 5K in town I'm planning to run on Saturday, and being in a bad mood is the best reason to run, hands down. So I climbed out of bed, played with Calvin for a few minutes, and then got dressed and headed out.
It was 6:00 am when I started running - cool and drizzling slightly. I jogged up the short hill that starts all my runs and then turned on to North Street before making my way down to Raguet's loops and hills, endless variations of which make up just about all my runs. My Garmin beeped the first mile and I glanced down to see my time. 8:56. Pretty fast, but I always start out too fast and I hadn't gotten to the hilliest part of the route yet. I felt good, though, and decided to stick with the quicker pace.
Mile two beeped just as I was passing under a streetlight. 9:08! Even with a hill! I started to think that this might be a fast run after all. I felt good; strong and light. I was breathing hard, but not gasping for breath. There was no tightness in my side, no stitch rearing it's ugly head. I hopped over puddles in the street, nodded at a few of the elderly walkers who share my route, picked it up on the downhills and maintained what I could on the uphills.
Mile three: 9:00 minutes!
With one mile left, and most of it flat, I ran even faster. I felt like I was flying, and I was. When the last beep sounded and I slowed to a walk, stopping my watch, I did a double-take and broke out in a huge smile. 8:08. I couldn't remember the last time I'd run a mile that fast, let alone during a training run! I felt amazing, and the bad mood that I woke up with was nowhere to be seen.
I walked home, the streetlights still glowing and the sun still sleeping, four miles behind me and the whole day still ahead. And guess what? I'm still smiling.