Back in my misspent twenties–when I had cats instead of dogs–I was a runner. I was a member of the Greater Boston Track Club and spent pretty much all my spare time running 60-70 miles every week. I was ferociously fit and thin, too. I ran a 6:02 mile in a track meet and a 75:30 ten-mile race on a cool summer’s day in New Hampshire. There was a hill near my apartment–Summit Ave in Brookline (MA)–four tenths of a mile at a grade ranging from 7% to 15%–that I ran when I really wanted to push. I still remember some of the runs where going up Summit Ave felt good and I felt strong and powerful. Great view from the top, too.
I’ve been trying to recover that joy in running. I’ve been pushing hard and training hard, and working hard–and I really want to feel light and powerful again.
I had a few moments of that over this weekend. I was at the PAC agility trial. I had thirteen runs with Rush and I Qd once. Once. We had some moments of brilliance; we had some terrible moments (he tore a hole in my pants at the end of a run, embarrassingly); I had one moment that I would describe as a Summit Ave moment. Run 12 of the weekend. I was tired and sore and I’d thought about going home, but the course looked interesting. (It was, too, although I left out an obstacle.) Rush NQ-d himself by going around jump 4, and I decided from there that I would run it as aggressively as I could. The last four obstacles were triple jump-left turn to weaves-single jump-tire. I ran Rush to the triple, told him to weave, saw him get the weave entry out of the corner of my eye and sprinted as fast as I could for the end. Rush didn’t catch me until the tire. He was running fast–and so was I. It was wonderful to find that I could still sprint.
After a difficult weekend, I often find myself wondering if I should keep doing agility or just stay home. The difficulties I had keeping up with Rush–who seems to be even faster than he was before he was neutered–and the moments of joy I had in running have me wondering again. Jay points out that all this is normal for me. Agility mood swings.
(I spent some time a few weeks ago looking up world records for the same distances for different ages. The change from age 25 to age 60 was consistently, across distances ranging from the quarter-mile to the marathon, 1.3 to 1.35 times longer at age 60. So I can reasonably expect to run somewhere around an 8-minute mile if I can recover my fitness, and a 10-minute-ish pace for longer distances. I’ve got a ways to go and a few pounds to lose.)