In terms of overall enjoyment, this was probably my best run ever, 5.3 miles in 44:31 minutes.
69'F, sunny, slight breeze, Friday, no big meetings left this week, legs fairly fresh... if every run felt like this, I'd run 100s of miles per week.
I've spent the last week trying to squeeze in double workouts every day... morning run [50 minutes easy] and lunch exercise bike [10-14 miles on a "hilly" course at 13-15 mph and "flats" at 20 mph].
Today, I slept in, and had to move my run to lunch--which meant that I had to run through the office park. Now, on a slightly warm, perfectly clear day, in which there hasn't been more than a slight drizzle in the last week [and nothing in the last 24 hours] mud shouldn't be a problem.
When I saw a muddy run-off on the sidewalk ahead of me, I made the quick assumption that it was thin layer of mud that would get my shoes slightly muddy. By running on the forefoot more I would *SPLASH*.
No. Not a film of mud. 3+ inches of mud, a little thinner than mud from a mudslide would probably be. At 1.5 miles into my run, this would probably have killed my run the rest of the way, but not today.
I was happy to be out running. I was happy to be free from the bike, which had punished my quads and muscles on the back of my legs that I didn't know I had. I was happy to be comfortably running off the treadmill. I was happy to be running sub-8:30 pace comfortably in spurts instead of struggling to break 10 minute pace.
I started thinking about my Chicago Marathon goal. 3:15 would be stupid at this point, but maybe 3:30 [still a PR] was at least physically in my reach. It's too soon to make those assumptions. I haven't run 20 miles since before I took nearly 3 weeks off of running. 13 felt okay last Saturday and, I'm going to target 16 tomorrow. Then, I'll see.
When I got back from the run, I spent 5-10 minutes trying to rinse/scrub the mud off of one of the shoes. There wasn't enough water pressure to do much. My legs were coated from the top of my sock to my knee, and I had mud on my arm in spots.
After showering and scrubbing, I wiped my legs dry with the towel and it turned brown from the mud residue. My legs were starting to itch, and I started thinking about what that "mud" could have been run-off from. After cleaning up some more, I rubbed my legs down with Purell. Hopefully, the itchiness was an allergic reaction to weeds or something, but I found myself creeped out, nonetheless.
I'm sure I got some weird looks from being so coated in mud on a clear and dry day. Oh, well. It's good to be running again.