After two not very good training runs, I had a great run during my speed work. I ran 1.75 miles at 8.6 mph on the treadmill. It was hard and I was glad when it was over, but I didn’t feel as if I died. I thought if I really had to, I had a tad more energy to go a bit farther. I felt confident after the run. I sorely needed a good training run this week after the not so good runs earlier.

Inspired by Caitlin’s of Fit and Feminist post on the simple pleasure of an athlete’s life, I want to talk about the spectacular feeling I get after a really good speed work session. Whenever I nail speed work, afterward I feel like Superman and the Hulk all in one. This feeling comes only after a great speed work. Never after a long slow run or a temp run. I guess it’s because during speed work, I’m running faster than I ever thought I could. Not only am I running faster, but I’m running at that speed much farther than I ever thought I would as well. In short, I’m doing something that I find unbelievable. When it’s over, I marvel at my ability, my body, and myself. I think I’m incredible. Invincible. I savor this feeling for the following hours. A smile creeps onto my face whenever I think of what I just did.

I work in a field with little positive feedback. While I know I do good work, it’s easy to lose sight to this. Running reminds me that I’m capable and accomplished. Running, like my work, is internally motivated. There are setbacks, of course, but the occasional periods of exhausted happiness provide me with enough reinforcement to keep going.

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