It can be a tired type of day or a well rested kind of day. It can be just about any kind of day but once in a while, on a day with a little running magic in the air it just works. You never know until a couple minutes into the run that just maybe it will be that kind of day. The kind of day when you remember what it was like to be 25 again. Almost invincible we were then. Never tiring and the distance was never too much.
Quick steps fire me up the first few hills but without the tired weighted legs that usually arrive at the top. I am able to do more than the pull of gravity down the backsides, I can push and accelerate, my effort and it’s force combining into speed. Rolling trails have no up and downs now, I feel strong through all of it. I know these trails intimately and wait at the inflection point for the internal voice telling me “ great effort but boy that was tough” thought at the top of the tougher bits. I am shocked when the last dozen metres of the biggest hills are smooth and lack the “ just a bit more “ self talk.
“ Left foot on top that rock, catch the side of the big stone, over that one and before the jagged bit” Technical rocky area are no problem, coming as natural as my breathing feels today. High over the sloppy puddle and straight down after, footfalls are easy and the the flow continues and my thoughts are calm. I can feel the push my leg generates through my foot as I climb hill after hill. So quiet out here in the Don though I yearn to exclaim “ Nice” after each section.
The really interesting and fun part is the last 15 minutes or so of such a run. The part where the 20 K run usually starts falling apart. This is when, on those mysterious days of flowing and freedom, you pull towards the effort. Your breathing become harder but not strained, you are pulling the air in deeper and somehow using more of what it has to offer. The extra speed and power seems to be somehow logical. I am not falling but instead becoming stronger. In those moments when your give back a little, slowing slightly as you stride an incline, the hill challenges you and somehow it is shorted than usual and over you go past the peak with a curious smile as you are descending light and quick. Tall and forward you finish very much surprised that this feeling lasted so long but knowing that it is gone for now. Till the next day, probably not tomorrow or even the next day, but hopefully somewhere soon because that is sweetness we all seek on the run.