After dealing with a perfect storm of bad health, family obligations, and foul weather the last couple of days, I was able to resume running activities. Two crappy weeks in a row running-wise now behind me I was ready to test my fitness level. The forecast was for heavy rain all day, but it stopped in the morning, allowing me to go out and get my feet wet. My initial thought was to ease back into things considering my considerable congestion from a cold (allergies related?). The trails would be messy after the rain, so I thought I would try the Quonset Bike Path. Then I started to think about those mile markers on it. Hmm. What might be fun? I finally decided to run 4 miles - 2 easy, 1 fast, 1 easy. My goal was to break a six minute mile. I don't think I ever have (at least timed). I remember running a mile on the track in college when I wasn't in great shape in 6:20 or 6:15 maybe. I know that I should be able to do it now. My brother Greg just ran a half marathon at 5:26 mile pace - this shouldn't be too hard. But, I wasn't sure what my body would feel like.
Perfect running weather greeted me - 50 degrees and overcast with light winds. The path was empty for the most part, except the token man with large unleashed dog and the woman with multiple dogs on multiple leashes going in multiple directions. My body felt fresh and running didn't seem to bother my lungs. My first mile was 7:33 and my second was about 8 minutes. I stopped for a moment and shook out my legs and tried to find mental motivation to run hard. Next thing I knew I was off. My pace felt good and fast, but controlled. My breathing was pretty good. I felt like I could maintain it. Gut check time - the half mile marker - I glance down at my watch and feel relieved - 2:58. I should be able to keep this up. I round a gentle curve and now I can see the mile marker. I also see the lady with the dogs monopolizing the width of the path. Oh well. I pick up my pace slightly and finish feeling strong. I think one of the dogs started to run after me, but I didn't turn around to see. I clocked the mile in at 5:58. New record! But what I was the most happy about, was how easy it felt to me. Could I keep up that pace for another mile? How about for a 5K? I finished my last mile untimed and returned to my car happy and excited about running again.