Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sore knees and personal bests

Woke up with a bad back and a sore knee today. I was a little worried about my knee and wanted to take the day off considering that I had been working out continously for more than a week. Coming back from work a bit early, I started itching for a run. Have been reading George Sheehan's 'Running to Win' for sometime now and that added to the motivation. Decided to go for an easy 5-mile run on my usual route.

Well, when I hit the road, I was just flying. The first mile was a phenomenal 8:11. Phenomenal according to my standards. I've never run that fast before. A late evening snack of an orange, some grapes and some dried fruits + nuts + a litre of water is not exactly the ideal state to be in when you want to run fast. Nevertheless, buoyed by my first mile timing, I decided to see how long it was going to last. At the 2 mile mark, I had taken around 16 minutes and decided that I'd be happy if I could get to the turnaround point (which is exactly 2.5 miles) in 22 minutes. Shoreline Road, beyond the Amphitheatre Parkway, is pitch dark on one side and brightly lit on the other. I had to be careful about my step and that slowed me down a tad. I still managed to make it to the turnaround point in 20:07 and boy was I glad!!

I took a gulp of water and a breather (ok, cheated a bit there) and decided to take it easy on the return trip. Apparently someone forgot to inform my legs of that decision and they started from where they left off. I was still bounding at a 8:10 minute pace even though I was in a bit of pain. The fact that I was stopped at 3 traffic lights may have helped a bit I suppose. I managed to keep that pace and was on an even 32 minutes after 4 miles. I decided to go for a 8 minute mile again. I started the last mile a little harder than the others but it did not last long.  I was not ready to give up and had to continously motivate myself to keep up the pace. I sprinted the last few yards and stopped 0.13 miles short of my house finishing 4.87 miles on 39:07 which translates to 8:02 minutes per mile. I have dreamt of such speeds. I never believed I was capable of that speed. And to think I managed that on a day when I had a sore knee and a full stomach makes it all the more valuable.  How we underestimate ourselves!!

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