Ahh, that felt good. And I mean really good. The best running has felt for me in quite some time. It was simple really: a 15km run, starting with a 2k warm-up, then 1k intervals at my fastest, and 1k recovery intervals at my marathon/long-slow-run pace. Suddenly, the euphoria returned. I was dancing over tree roots and rocks, up stairs, down stairs, like my legs had remembered who they were. Like I had remembered who I was. The funny part was how sllloooowww the slow intervals felt, how much I felt like an old, dragging donkey. No surprise then, that with the majority of my running at that slower pace, I’d been losing the plot a bit.
With speed, there is no sense of time dragging, no wondering when it will be over, no think-think-thinking about my or the world’s problems. There is only my watch and my legs, turning over as fast as I can turn them, the terrain, and my breathing.
While I transitioned to minimalist footwear and ultra-distances, I’d put speed on hold. In doing so, I lost an essential element of running. Intensity. That has been my driving force since I was a teenager, when I realised it was central to who I am. I need speed for running to give me joy.
Now I have a great, big smile. And sore legs!