Extra lush from recent rains, the higher oxygen levels felt amazing on the run back from the beach. 11.6km done! #fromwhereirun #nofilter
This was my longest post-knee-recovery run yet, and the combination of all these made it possible, pain-free, and delightful:
* perfect running weather (sunny but cool)
* Pearl Azumi N3 Trail shoe trial
* 4 minute run / 1 minute walk pacing
* knowing and pushing close to my breathing limits
* starting with and seeing @Nov_Project_SF friends along the way
I had to stop to take this photo just after having a peak experience.
About an hour into my run, on the way back from Tennessee Beach, it felt like my lungs finally opened up. In the middle of the last trail segment, deep into a canopy of green, all of a sudden I could feel the higher oxygen levels in the dust-free air (thanks to yesterday’s rain).
Somehow my lungs and chest relaxed and expanded like I haven’t felt since last year (I can still feel the difference now as I’m writing this at home). I was inhaling deep into the very bottoms of my lungs without any resistance. Within moments everything clicked, my pace quickened while maintaining form, and I was running about 20-30% faster (confirmed afterwards on my Nike+, which recorded a sharp literal peak).
Update: Nike+ velocity chart with sharp literal peak:
It felt like I was flying.
#heysweatdaily #runsfrc #tennesseevalley #tennesseevalleytrail #ferns #green #trail #run #RUNPROGRAM #nopain #breathe #justbreathe #grateful
Upon re-reading I realized I had provided no references, contextual or otherwise, for my speed.
The chart I added in the update above provides an absolute context:
* 7:10min/km average velocity
From a personal perspective, that is much slower than my:
* 6:13min/km 2015 Berkeley Half Marathon (PR) average speed (ttk.me/t4eM1)
Yet significantly faster than my:
* 7:33min/km 2015 North Face ECSUT Marathon Relay average (ttk.me/t4dd3) — ~10km trail race PR, though at 7k'-8.6k' altitude.
Lastly, despite being self-performance focused with my running, I should note that among the dozens of SFRC runners that morning, I was by far the slowest, starting nearly the same time as everyone else, yet losing sight of nearly everyone a mile or so in. All of that mattered much less than regaining the ability to run again, especially that distance for that duration.
November Project, SFRC, Nike Run Club, or any other such club can easily seem intimidating because each has so many incredibly fit and fast participants. Yet in each of those, I’ve experienced a culture of inclusion, support, and encouragement (something I’ve tried to learn from and apply in my own communities like IndieWebCamp.com).
It’s that culture that replaces feelings of intimidation with a sense of inspiration, that values showing up, putting in a strong effort, and taking care of yourself, over any raw notions of competition.
Though I have to admit, I did feel a sense of relief (perhaps even a bit of accomplishment) for only being a few minutes behind my friends who had also run to Tennessee Beach and back. Nice to know I wasn’t holding them back from brunch — and joined them in waiting to get seated.