While I was running today, my running buddy asked me if I was having a good day. He noticed a pep in my step and he thought I was having a really good day. My answer was quite to the contrary. I had an awful day. Work has been really crazy lately and the frustrations are building up. Running is a very good outlet for all that rage and long tempo runs like the one that was on the training plan tonight are the perfect way to end the day and make it all better. Pounding the pavement has deep psychological healing properties for me. Hitting the road and letting my legs roar and fly through the dusk air felt like such a relief after a day of complex scheduling and planning issues. The simplicity of running and the physical effort really made my day!
I didn't even use music on my 8k pre-run before I met the club for our regular Tuesday night run. I took my usual warm-up route into Gatineau through the bridges. It seems that the department of Public Works of our cities just decided to give up on one of the bridges and wait for the warmth of Spring to naturally get rid of the snow, you'll notice the dark blue there on the speed heat map.
By the time I got to the running club meeting point, the frustrations had been channeled through my legs and vaporized into a very decent 8.5km and I was ready to challenge the fresh legs of one of the club's faster runner Mark. We ended up completing our usual 7km canal-side winter route at a very decent pace and I finished up with the final leg home to hit a total of 18km in 1h27m - 3 minutes ahead of my training target of 5m/km or 1h30. I figure that if I add in the extra effort of running in the icy/snowy roads and the slowdown on the bridges and the few red lights, I probably could translate this tempo run into a 1h25 run! It is looking better and better for a new PR in Montreal next month.