At my townhome complex, there's a jazz saxophone student who lives cati-corner from our house, and whenever the weather is right, he opens his bedroom window and treats us all to a free concert (which is at least twice a week). I finished my run today as he was just warming up. I ran inside, grabbed a Gatorade and the dog, and lay down in the yard to watch the sun set to the sounds of Coltrane. Talk about the perfect way to end a day. Rusty ran around the yard digging up sticks for me to throw while I enjoyed the feeling of the cool grass on my (very) sweaty back.
I'm finally starting to regain some of my speed after being sick for so long. I'm not fully healthy again, and my training schedule definitely isn't what it was, but my workouts are starting to feel strong again. Today was helped by the fact that the sun finally, FINALLY came out after days of rain and gray and cold. Running with the sun going down in the west and Jack Johnson and Bob Marley on my iPod probably brought my pace down at least a minute a mile. My resting HR is starting to go down again, too. It was 67 when I put my monitor on today! I can't remember the last time it was that low. It's a good feeling, especially after the last couple of weeks of not taking great care of myself, and starting to feel lousy again.
I finished reading Ultra Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes, which I can STRONGLY recommend. I had started to lose a my motivation a little recently, to be honest. I used to be all about mind over matter, but the past few months have been discouraging. Never bad enough to bring me to a full stop, but some of the passion has been lacking. That book brought me back to where I was last spring when I was just starting, and I was so excited every morning to wake up and run or ride or swim or just be outside. I'd forgotten what that sheer joy was like, of being totally aware that I was doing something that most people never even allowed themselves to do, that some people weren't even ABLE to do. I'd forgotten to be excited. Karnazes's story really woke me up again, and reminded me of my passion. And, not surprisingly, rekindled my desire to eventually reach the ultra level. It definitely made me more excited for my Half Iron this summer!
And, I think, ultimately it made me enjoy my post-run high tonight a lot more. Laying in the grass with Rusty, with that smooth jazz and the sunset, was just about perfect. It would have been more perfect if Jeremy had been there, and had run with me, buuuut that will have to wait for another day...