I woke up this morning ready to run, and run hard. My long time friend and step-in brother, Anthony had offered to have me along for his fast run today. Tony is fast, but he's nice, and consistent too, which makes for the perfect guy to just run for your life with. It was chilly today and had rained most the night and snowed in the mountains. We had a nice dusting of snow on the consistently gorgeous view of the Front Range that can be seen from Denver metro. We met on one of my favorite paths to run. It's dirt, and wide, and it meanders through Denver along a canal. There are trees and fancy homes along the side.
As we get started into the warm up, I'm immediately reminded that fast people warm up fast too. Beth reminded me of this not so long ago and I have been trying to tame the pedestrian in me for the easy stuff. So we ran along at low 8s, chatting and catching up on life.
Anthony is one of those people that you feel a deep calm around. Like you are never being judged, he's just good people, and I look up to him immensely. I wish I was more like him, just that inner calm that resinates. I could use some of that.
Then we got into the hard work. I clicked over to a screen on my watch that didn't even show heart rate. I just ran, silently, with Tony, in the brisk air, nothing but the rhythm of foot steps and exhalation. It was therapy in a strange way. There is a peace in running fast because the mind becomes consumed with the task at hand. All other feelings fade in the background and for 20 minutes, we just ran hard. The miles ticked off and I can't even remember any of the people we passed as Tony gave them the courteous wave or smile. I was head down, eyes glazed, zoned out.
When we finished the 20, Tony then had to step it up even faster. We turned around and I promised myself that for 3 minutes I would step it up with him. I wanted to go for the full 10, but I promised myself a 3 minute deviation from the plan that Dirk had set forth. Any more than that would become premeditated delinquency, this was merely dessert. It was a fast pace, something near my 5K pace, and I just enjoyed the feeling up huffing and puffing, and running.
Then I shut it down. My cool down ended up being extra long as I was 5 miles from the car at that point. It's strange because it felt like it took me 10 minutes. I just trotted along feeling a sense of quiet. The endorphins were doing their job, the cortisol gushing through my body.
Some days the stars align and your feet feel under you. It always helps to have friends along. Thanks Tony, here's to a few more of those before CDA!