The Automattics Worldwide WP 5K (WWWP5K) came in the nick of time. It was exactly the run I needed to test my mettle after rehabbing an injury that has sidelined me since the first week of March. GASP! I’m a dedicated runner (daily), but I never had any formal coaching. Didn’t run on a team; haven’t been in many races. I just love to run. PERIOD!
Here’s the backstory…
I got hurt running. Bad. For a while it was even painful to walk. My left hip/glute was yelling at me. I was the victim of the too’s; too much, too soon, too intense. After a bit of a hiatus, I asked my friend Francisco Gomez to help me get my running legs back. Without his generous tutelage, I might not have been ready for today’s WordPress event. Francisco’s not just my friend; he’s a certified personal trainer, an elite runner, and a highly sought after collegiate and high school cross-country coach and the owner of The Fit Potato. He has the most unique intuition and way of coaxing out one’s highest potential. He digs deep because he gets it. He’s passionate about running. Francisco trained with me a few times and showed me ways to improve my form, enhance my flexibility and build strength in the areas that were weak and hurting. With his humble and gracious help, I improved ultra-fast. He also connected me with his chiropractor who has helped unhitch my locked-up sacrum. We have been a wicked trinity: a running expert, healing hands and my dogged determination. Today was the day to prove it.
I woke up excited to run. But, first things first. I had my coffee and a yogurt. Hazelnut café au lait and blueberry siggi’s skyr. I did a few sun salutations on my bedroom terrace just to breathe in the beautiful day and because it’s what I do on Sunday to honor the Universe and express my gratitude. Today I had much for which to be grateful.
It was the perfect day for a run. The weather was sunny and mild at 7AM, the thermometer just barely hitting 60°F with no humidity. The route I chose included a straight, flat and smooth out and back jaunt down the scenic road that leads to my home, which used to be part of the old Lincoln Highway, as well as a slightly hilly figure-8 loop around my neighborhood.
I donned my hot-pink Nike running togs. Sleek. Seriously, I looked like the Barbie car in that bubble-gum get-up, even though in my heart I was more like the Ferrari Berlinetta. I laced up my ASICS (Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, A Sound Mind in a Sound Body) and grabbed my black shades and phone. Then I slipped my house key into my Road ID shoe pouch. It also held my ID, two good luck pennies and these quotes:
“I am beautiful. I am bountiful. I am blissful.”
“The Prayer for Protection: the light of God surrounds me, the love of God enfolds me, the power of God protects me, the presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am God is and ALL is well.”
I took an easy jog down to the road from my place just to warm-up and stretched at the stone wall that marks the entrance to the neighborhood. I was as ready as I ever would be.
Ready, set, go…
I started slowly at first. But it was too gorgeous a day and I was feeling too confident to not be spirited. Just as I passed the horse pasture I picked up my pace. Fast is smooth and strong, Francisco’s voice echoed in my head. I rounded a bend and spied another runner a good furlong ahead. “Just a little faster,” I thought “and I can close the gap.” Did I ever. In my mind I was barely touching the ground as if I had wings on my feet, exhilarated to be moving swiftly through space and time. He must not have heard me because I startled him as I called “Good morning” as I flew by.
As I reached the main road and started to loop back I checked my phone for the time. Stunned. “That mile you just ran, girl, you did it in 8 minutes.” Not too shabby. The second mile wasn’t too shabby either. Then I hit the street into my ‘hood. It’s hilly, not so much so, but enough to make you feel it. I was telling myself to dig it out, that there was only a short way to go. And then I saw a little boy outside playing. He waved an exuberant hello and said “dig it out” (I guess I was talking to myself out loud). That was the surge I needed and I sprinted the last hill to a fine finish. I was fist pumping and exclaiming all the way around the loop back to my house as I cooled down. That felt AMAZING!
Soon I’ll own the rest of the hills and terrain that have been my running grounds. Today, April 29, 2012, I ran an 8-minute mile with only six runs under my belt in the last two weeks. Smokin’!
Thanks Francisco for all your help and motivation! Thanks WordPress Automattics for this serendipitous opportunity!