I haven't done that in weeks and weeks - it has just been too damn hot to run any time other than at 5:30am.
Yesterday however, it didn't even reach 30 degrees and the humidity was pretty manageable. Thanks to the Weather Network's predicted temperatures, I slept in until 6:30am (heaven!) and ran at 4:30pm instead.
I felt pretty energetic before I left so I was looking forward to a good run. One minute into it I started to get a little worried. It felt harder than it should have and I was having trouble breathing. I pushed a little harder and it only got worse. I checked my watch and I was running 5:45min/k.
No wonder I was struggling. I normally run my first kilometre or two in 6:20s and then slowly get faster as I warm up. I ran the first kilometre in 5:57. I tried to force myself to slow down because I was worried I would crash before I finished my 7k run. The next kilometre was under 6 minutes. So was the next one. I reached 3.5k in 20 minutes and change and was still running like I was being chased by zombies.
What the hell?
I continued to try to slow down until I looked at my Garmin and realized I had reached 5k in 29 minutes.
That's when I sped up.
Occasionally, I can run 7k in 42 minutes and a handful of seconds which is a 6:00min/k pace. That's fast for me. Once, I ran it in 41:?? minutes and that was crazy fast. I have never once run 7k in under 41 minutes. I figured I had 2k left so, worse case, I had 12 minutes of hard running. I had already run 30 minutes at a crazy clip - what was another two??
So I pictured myself being chased by groaning, lumbering, scary zombies and I ran hard. I panted. I gasped, I wheezed. I like to think I look strong and intense but I probably looked like a runner who was trying to escape a gaggle of zombies. I didn't care. I rounded the corner and, about a hundred metres from the house, my watched beeped to announce 7k.
I made it in 40:49.
Oh yeah baby - bring on the zombie apocalypse!