When the run feels good

My running schedule this week is a bit off. My birthday is Friday, and I’m taking the day off of work. Because we have the MN United home opener on Saturday, I’m going to move my long run to Friday this week instead of Saturday. That will give me more time Saturday morning before the 1:00pm game. Because this shifts my entire week a bit, I decided to do my Tuesday morning run tonight (Monday).

This worked out for a couple reasons, the first being that my run was scheduled to be 9 miles. That normally means I need to get up at 4am to get it done before work. Secondly, the temps tonight were amazing, in the mid-30s. It would be in the 20s at 4am, so tonight sounded much more appealing. Therefore, I packed up after dinner and headed out.

My plan had been to do my traditional 6 mile loop, followed by my 3 mile loop. However, about a mile into it, I made the choice to take a left instead of a right and take a slightly bigger loop. As I proceeded out of my neighborhood the loop got bigger and bigger, until I managed to swing all the way down to Columbia Heights and turn the entire evening into one big 9 mile loop.

I ended up having a blast doing some urban exploring through neighborhoods, and thinking on my feet as to where to turn next to keep the loop nice and big. At one point my headlamp batteries died, and as luck would have it I was only a block from a Walgreen’s. They take Apple Pay, and so I grabbed some new AAA’s and was off again. My eventual goal was to make it over to Main Street in Fridley, crossing back over 694 on the new pedestrian/bike bridge they just completed this summer.

I stopped on the bridge and snapped a quick selfie with the freeway as the backdrop. The grin on my face tells the story of how much fun I was having. I wasn’t going quite as fast as I wanted to, but that was mostly due to a lot of patches of refreezing ice. My slightly slower pace also meant that I was pretty well rested and felt amazing. I was relaxed, my feet felt good (partially thanks to some brand new shoes), and I was able to just lock into cruise control.

Soon I was back into my subdivision, only to receive a call from my boss about something at work I needed to take care of. That put a bit of fire back in my step, and my 9th mile was sub-10, my fastest of the night. I arrived home feeling really good and strong. I’m tired for sure, but I know I could have kept going if I had wanted to.

I love it when a run feels good, and you feel the joy of the endorphins. Tonight was one of those nights that makes me remember why I do this crazy stuff. I got to get a great run in, and I combined it with a bit of urban exploration, which always a bit of fun for me. I know every run won’t feel like this, so I’m going to savor this one for a bit and try and remember it for as long as I can.