Ran 8.15 miles this morning, and while it was hard getting starting (I was underslept and my shins hurt for the first two miles.) I did the last 5 miles or so in 11-minute miles, running mostly a little above threshold. I found this slightly longer stride, kind of a lope, and while it was pushing, it was a comfortable kind of pushing.
Yes, I am pleased. It's a gorgeous cool Autumn day, and I'm frankly sad to be back inside the house. See?
I forgot to mention in my last running post that I saw a melanistic squirrel. I did not see it again today, though I followed roughly the same route. However, as I was coming back through the woods by the marsh, I noticed a small-crow-sized bird in the middle of the greenway trail. It was obviously picking at something, and as I got closer I could tell that it was not a crow but some a gray bird with a ruddy underside kind of accipiter-style raptor. I got within ten feet of it--close enough that I had actually started to skirt the path to go around it, since it was obviously guarding a meal--when it spread its wings and took off right across my path, dangling an unfortunate chipmunk from its talons.
I think it was a Cooper's Hawk, a small female or a large male.
If that's an omen for the coming year, I hope I'm the hawk and not the chipmunk.
Now I'm off to shower and celebrate Hobbit Day with second breakfast. YAY! In celebration of a beautiful morning, I leave you with a little Pat Benatar, one that was my personal theme song for the latter part of high school... not in the least because I can sing in her range.
Here's to kicking that much ass when I'm 48.