With Thanksgiving this week (on my birthday I might add) I have to give thanks for all the good runs I have had this year. I would say that at least 80% of my runs were good.
Today I experienced what I can only describe as a perfect run. I think many runners visualize perfect races and maybe have even been fortunate enough to run one. Often times though as long as our training runs are good we are satisfied and never get to experience anything beyond that. We may get lucky and experience “runner’s high” for a portion of a run, but usually something – whether it’s a twinge of pain, a barking dog or a hard hill, distracts us from that.
With temperatures around 50* today I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to run. It’s been too darn cold this fall and the weatherman’s favorite phrase lately seems to be “We’re below average for this time of year.” I chose my usual 6 mile loop which I’m sure most would not consider easy given the hills in it, but it’s a routine run for me. Almost halfway through I realized that my run was perfect. I wondered if it would stay that way and I tried to keep mentally in the mindset that it would. By the time I arrived back at my house I had completed a truly perfect run.
Here are the reasons it was perfect:
-The weather. The temperature was perfect. I never felt hot or cold during the run and there was no wind.
-My outfit. This time of year I often overdress. Today I wore a light weight long sleeved tech shirt, shorts, socks and sneakers. It was the right choice for the weather for once as I was comfortable the entire run.
-Drivers were considerate. I hate the jerks who can obviously see you running and don’t move over on the road particularly when you have no sidewalk to avoid them. Today every driver went out around me.
-My new shoes. This was my fourth run since getting my new Brooks Ghost 10 sneakers and they are finally broken in enough to not feel any weird pains in my feet or ankles.
-No internal issues. I was adequately fed and hydrated. I didn’t have a single urge to go to the bathroom.
-The route. Although sometimes they can get boring, other times familiar runs are the best. There’s no thinking involved, no checking which direction to go, just pure running.
-I got out of my head. I had a mentally rough weekend with various thoughts. Many times I use runs to think through problems, but today I just let my mind go blank and that’s what I really needed to reset myself.
-Nothing hurt. From the first step I felt ready to go. Normally it takes a good half mile for me to feel really warmed up and relaxed. Today I just went and there were no twinges of anything anywhere in my body.
-My downhills felt strong. I am determined to improve my downhill running as it is my weak spot as proven by the downhill in the Hands on House half marathon course that shredded my legs. I really focused on my form and only had to correct myself once for pounding too hard.
-I destroyed the uphills. I am a strong hill runner in general. Having the toughest cross country course in high school as well as living among hills ingrained it into me. I know with Spring Valley coming up on Sunday I will be pushed even more than usual on the hills so I made sure to work them today and they didn’t slow my pace.
-I achieved runner’s high. I find it is very rare to achieve runner’s high unless I’m on a treadmill or a rail trail. Normally having to watch for cars or the terrain changes distracts me too much. I ran probably close to a mile feeling like I was running on the clouds today.
-I set a 3 minute personal record. I don’t try to beat my times when I run my regular routes, but I do track them to ensure I’m improving over time. The last time I ran that particular route was the end of October. The ironic part is it didn’t even hurt running that much faster.
Have you ever had a “perfect” run? What made it perfect? Do you try to beat your times on regular routes you run?