This weekend I got three days off of work in a row! So how did I celebrate? Hard runs every day! On Friday I did a longish tempo run on flat terrain and felt fast for the first time in a while. I ran sub-8s which is good for me and focused on my form. My runs tend to be long, slow, meditative wilderness runs. This run was fast, urban, and headphones driven. I managed to almost keep up with a dawdling girl on a bicycle and I felt like multiple people did double-takes when they saw me whiz by. Clearly this was mostly a figment of my imagination, but it felt good.
The next day I went out for a longer, hilly trail run. I ran more of the hills that I typically walk. I thought less about mountain lions. I passed some mountain bikers. And one hiker's dog deserted his owner to follow me. I ran the whole loop faster than I've ever run it before.
On Sunday we went to Boulder to hang out with a friend. Cory and him went for a hike while I ran up and down the Gregory Canyon trail. It was steep and rocky and I felt tired and slow. And just when I would start to feel discouraged thinking about pro runners who bound up this trail like there's no gravity, I would hear some hikers ahead. Even the most gussied-up and intense-looking hikers were slower than my methodical plod and would look at me like I was crazy. But "fast" is a relative term, my friends, and though I'll never be the fastest, I choose to remind myself that I'm not that slow.
Looking ahead to this week, I'm tired. I am working the next 6 days in a row and I'm supposed to start officially training for next season. Then on Monday I'm flying to Wisconsin for a little bit of Christmas and a lot of trail running with dad. It's a good life.