It’s funny what one decent speed workout can do to help you rebound from the malaise of low training or injury. It’s not all that fun to hit the track without much fitness in the tank, and it hurts like hell. Those first couple laps at training pace feel awkward and slow. The middle intervals feel better but the last few test the lungs to the point of wheezy pain.
But within a week of doing speed the legs seem to perk up a bit. The old joke about burning out the carbon has some literal truth to it. After weeks of plodding along at 10:00 pace if I was lucky, I dialed it up a few times over the past week and found myself in the low 9s for a few four-milers.
As you can see by my 10:46 mile warmup, the first mile these days is a sluggish ordeal. That’s the price of being a runner in my sixties. It’s not easy for anyone to warm up, I know. But the body has something new to say each time a sexagenarian hits the road. And you heard that right. I am a ripely minted sexagenarian with two years under my belt. But I have forty-plus years of running behind me. And a knee that has been rocked and rolled more ways than I like to count.
Yet today on the trails at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve I pushed the pace and dipped below an eight-minute mile for a good chunk of the run. I even ran near 8:00 pace on the largely uphill fourth mile. That made me feel good even when I thought back to the fact that just three or four years ago I raced 7:00 pace for 10k.
I have no idea if that pace is possible again. My inspiration comes from the fact that many other sixty-year-olds I know are running that fast. My only concern comes with the greasy feeling in my knee resulting from that concussive strike from a hundred pound dog a few weeks ago. I’m hoping the knee heals well, and completely.
So it seems like I’m on the rebound. Finally running a little better and escaped the holidays with my weigh in the low-to-mid 180s. When that goes below 180 the rebound will be even faster. And so will I.
See you out there, and catch me on the rebound.