5k saves the day

I was in a crappy mood when Traci and I headed out for a run Saturday, my mind teeming with unresolved hassles and my legs stiff from a week of fairly intense workouts — that now looked like wasted effort if our triathlon team falls apart, as it appeared it might.

On top of that, we couldn’t decide what kind of run to do. Neither of us felt like intervals, but we didn’t have time for anything else in our usual repertoire: hills, trail, or a long slow run.

“What if we just do a regular run?” Traci suggested.

It had been a long time since we’d done something so unfocused, but that sounded good to me. Since we were starting out from her house, we headed out on the 5K course her Tri Kappa group had mapped out for a race last spring.

We didn’t talk about pace. It seems like we just naturally start out at a little faster these days, especially if we’re wound up about something (check) or going a shorter distance (check). At a certain point I remember thinking, “Wow, we’re really going at a pretty good clip here.” But neither of us acknowledged it; we just kept up the rhythm of our running conversation as we sorted out what to do about the triathlon (wait and see? with less than 2 weeks remaining? Aargh!) and the latest kid-related hassles.

Our pace, it turned out, wasn’t as fast as I thought: 9:54, I think Traci said. Still, considering we hadn’t set out to do a time trail, that was decent for us.

We could’ve gone faster if that had been our intention. But the best part was that on a crappy day and a potentially crappy run we stuck with a difficult pace, worked through it, and wound up feeling energized by the experience.

Late-breaking development: The team triathlon is a GO! My niece Madison decided late last night to brave the chilly waters at Potato Creek State Park for Tri the Creek on Sept. 29. Traci will ride the bike segment and I’m going to do the trail run.


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