Today's 10+ miler was not one of those.
Today's run was one of the ones that reminds you.
I felt light. I felt free. I felt easy. I wasn't tired. My injuries were only a little sore. I didn't walk at all. My only rests were the minute-or-so stops for Journey to get a drink and quick dip in the lake -- 4 such stops. I cut another 2 minutes off my time. In the 4 times I have done this loop in the last 8 days, my time has dropped from 2:01 to 1:46. That's a drop in mile-pace from 11:33 to 10:10. Another 30 seconds off over the course of the rest of the spring and the summer, and I could possibly have my Boston Qualifier after all, despite my ultra.
(Possibly. We're talking 26.2 miles there, not 10.5.)
After my first running of this loop a week ago, I was hobbling. I could hardly get up and down the 2 steps in our camper from living area to bed/bathroom area. I moaned, groaned, and grunted with each step. I couldn't bend over to untie my shoes. This improved each time until today I am not stiff at all. My Achilles and ankle do not hurt (I should mention that I got heavy-duty massage therapy of that area yesterday.) My left hamstring, very sore yesterday and a little sore this morning, never got more than a little sore, and is staying at that level still, an hour after finishing.
I have never in my entire running career tried such a stunt as running 10 miles every other day. I think it's the best routine I've ever followed. My endurance is increasing, my fatigue and stiffness are decreasing. I'm not walking even the hills. Except for the one on which Journey always, always finds something she has to stop suddenly and sniff. She stops so abruptly that I get yanked at the other end of the leash. This spoils my momentum for the rest of the hill and I have to walk whatever is left of it. Today, however, I only walked a couple steps to regroup and then resumed my jog up the hill.
Next running day is Thursday, then Saturday. I was going to do my pre-marathon 20-miler on Saturday, but we will be packing up our camper that day to leave. So I think I am going to do the 20 on Thursday, and another 10 on Saturday. Still debating whether to do a 20-mile out-and-back, or 2 laps of the Lake Loop which I am coming to know so very well, or 4 5-mile out-and-backs or 5 4-mile out-and-backs, to test my mental toughness for the ultra.
I am feeling like such a fine runner this week!! I seem to have hit on the perfect plan, finally. At least for now.