I love to run.
Were you aware of that?
Well, in case you weren't, I do. Thursday's run only validated that.
For the third consecutive Thursday, I went to Mt. Rubidoux for some hilly running. I didn't want to start out too fast, didn't want to burn out before I even got going, so i kept it steady. But I was feeling pretty good so I stretched out my legs a little bit. I wasn't setting any speed records but I was going at a pretty good clip, for an uphill portion anyway.
Now, on Mt. Rubidoux there are lots and lots of people. Some walk, some run, some push strollers, some walk their dogs, and some ride bicycles. There are actually fewer runners than walkers, stroller-pushers and dog-walkers. A few of the runners you can tell are veterans, mostly by the way they dress. Sometimes I'll say hi to a fellow runner, vets or not, if I make eye contact with them.
Today, I was probably nearing the one-mile mark when I noticed an older gentleman. He was coming down the path and going at a good speed. As we were about to cross paths, he smiled, waved and said "Good pace!"
I can't really describe how great that made me feel. He didn't have to say anything, didn't have to acknowledge me. He's probably ran a few marathons in his life, maybe more than a few. By the way he was running, I'm guessing we could run a 10K on Saturday and he'd finish before me. But his words of encouragement were so uplifting I could have closed my eyes and finished the run on that high alone.
When I was running Ragnar, I experienced similar words of encouragement from fellow runners and it was always uplifting. When I was not running, I tried to congratulate all the other runners I saw, particularly when it was the middle of the night and only us crazy Ragnar runners were out there, in Middle of Nowhere, Nevada. So when I'd see runners chugging along, either struggling or gliding across the asphalt, I'd say "Good job, runner" or something to the effect.
I wish I could bottle up that feeling and use it like Gu. I'd pop that in the middle of my long, challenging runs and I'd be golden.
Now, I reached the top of Mt. Rubidoux but took the backside down. I'd intended on turning around, going back to the top and run down the way I originally had gone up. Instead, I ended up doing a complete loop back up to the top, so I went uphill the same way twice. At the top once more, I was at about four miles, a little less, so I figured I'd run two miles downhill and get to six and call it a run. Mile 4 was particularly tough because the way I'd gone up wasn't a way I'd done before, and it is pretty steep. But with about a mile and a half to go, my legs felt like going a bit faster and I didn't want to deny that feeling. So off I went, running at a good, fast pace and I closed out the run feeling quite strong.
Here are my splits:
Mile 1: 9:38
Mile 2: 9:36
Mile 3: 8:39
Mile 4: 10:05
Mile 5: 8:34
Mile 6: 7:52
6.02 miles, 54:51
What a run!