"How you feeling today? Yeah, I'm tired too. Been a tough week. Let's just take it easy."
" Much nicer out here today, loving this sun and warmer air. Couldn't ask for a better day to be out here"
Hmm, legs are a little stiff but at least the pain seems to be gone. Hope it gets better soon or this is going to be tougher than I wanted. Not much is said as we ease into the run. We've done this so many times before, seemingly thousands of miles over the many years. Sometimes others tag along but today its just us two like so many times before. The conversation begins to flow freely and before we know it there are quite a few miles behind us. I notice that the legs are moving smooth and freely , the breathing is even and it's almost effortless.
" Oh, look , as several deer go bounding across the path in front of us." Wow, is that a snowy egret down there in the creek? We stop to stretch and enjoy the rare sighting before easing back into the run. Suddenly a possum scoots by, another rare daytime sighting. Cute isn't it?
And then as if time had stood still we are in the last mile. I wish we had more time. I'm not quite ready for it to end .
2. The loner
I"m eager to get going this afternoon as I'm hoping to get in a good quality workout. The big one is coming up in a couple of months and I've got a lot of work to do. I wish it wasn't so cold but it is what it is. Stupid wind. What will I do, I don't know, just get started and see how you feel and take it from there.
Not feeling too good warming up but at least the legs feel like they may have some zip in them. I don't know, should I go for tempo or not push it so hard and just see how marathon pace feels. Wait until the first mile and then I'll decide. Well, the first mile was decent pace but I'm not feeling like this is going to go well. I pick it up anyway. I'll see what the next mile is before I make a decision.
The pace increases but the breathing is laboring a bit. I'm not sure about this, maybe I should just back off? But then mile two is coming and hey, that was awesome and I notice that suddenly the breathing is smooth and relaxed and the legs feel great ! Yeah, it's on !
The quarter mile posts come quickly and I'm in the zone as the pace increases slightly faster. This is awesome. Mile 3 blazes by and any doubts that I had earlier are erased as I feel I can easily hold on to this pace for the remainder of the workout and beyond. All distractions are buried deeply as I imagine myself feeling like this approaching the last miles of the race, still months away.
One more mile and now it is getting harder to hold the pace but I stay focused and refuse to let the pace drop. And then it's over and as I look at my time and feel a great sense of satisfaction , a smile for no one but myself burst out and I look to the sky and say a big thank you. I average nearly 20 seconds per mile at the same effort as I did a month ago. The hard work is paying off.
3. The competitor
"Ya wanna run?" Yeah, I feel the need for speed !
We start off chattering away as usual. (Hmm, I think, this warmup mile seems fast. I think this may hurt) What are we doing? "How about mile repeats?" OK.
Then we reach the one mile mark and I say let's go and suddenly the pace kicks up dramatically. It feels too fast but by now I now exactly what to expect. I don't dare move ahead because I know that will just cause you to push harder and yet I still feel the slightest bit of a surge and I have to pick it up a step to stay even. The body is revolting a bit but the mind tells it to relax, as it makes the adjustment to the faster pace and soon enough the first one is over. Yep, too fast but it felt pretty good.
All too soon it seems, it's time for the next one but as I've learned from doing so many of these the next one is much more relaxed as by now the body is prepared for the "punishment" it now knows is coming. The pace is now more even and nearly dead on what we planned. You gain a step or two but I gradually reel you in. I'm feeling very relaxed at the pace now, the legs are strong and the breathing hard but even. As I settle in I glance over and listen to your breathing, as I monitor your effort. Your working hard but no problems. Yep, I think I picked a good workout today.
The third repeat begins like the 2nd, smooth and relaxed but as we reach the last qtr it is becoming harder to hold the pace. The legs are beginning to burn a bit and the breathing becomes more labored. You are working hard and began to fall a few steps back. I ease off just a hair on the pace but I know you will push as hard as you can no matter what and sure enough at the end you are right there. We are both pretty much gasping now as we walk and then slowly began slowly running again. " You wanna do one more?" I get that look , but I know you are ready to go.
We take off already feeling the effects of the previous three repeats but we both want to finish strong. Everything is focused inward now as we push each other. Nothing is said. Breathing is much too hard now as every fiber in our bodies is telling us to slow down. But there is no quitting in either of us. I speak out loud when we reach 1 qtr mile to go and we push with everything that's left. Why ? Because that's how pr 's are made and there is no denying we both want to do our best. YES! We nailed that last one. For a moment all we can do is gasp and walk slowly as we began to recover. Seems the first words are along the line of , that was hard and that sucked. But then, we do a cool down mile and it is at a decent pace and by the time we're done it's all about, that was a great workout ! What are we doing next time? 800's? 2 mile repeats at half marathon pace? 3 mile repeats at marathon pace? tempo run? Yes, all of the above !
4. Ok, thats enough. There are of course many other perfect workouts. Long runs alone, trail runs, runs with small groups, runs with large groups and many others. But every workout is perfect if I can run and especially run pain free no matter where or what the weather