Pardon me while I scarf down fresh strawberries and bounce around the room. I'm on a total runner's high at the moment.
So, first, the obvious and very good news: My knee isn't hurting anymore. Wahoo!! Two days off helped, as did lots of foam-rolling and stretching--including a long and very intense session with M. the Reasonable's "RumblerRoller" that hurts like hell but hurts soooo gooood, too. I need to buy my own so that I can stop bothering him for his whenever my calves start getting tight. (Side tangent: I had to Google the RumblerRoller to figure out what it's called and it turns out I'm not the only person who calls it a "foam roller with nubs.")
Anyway, yes. I had a fantastic run this morning. See, I'm joining a local running club. Today I met up with the group at a local junior college track, and after a few laps of walking on the track, I set off at a slow run, with my stopwatch going, to see how I did. It turns out, I might just be faster than I thought. Take me off the concrete, and away from the hilly terrain of my neighborhood, and I can do three laps of lane 9 (which is just shy of a mile) in 8:34. So I was probably running closer to a 9-minute mile than I have ever run in my life.
Do I feel like a rock star? Yes. Yes, I do.
I ran those three laps, then walked one before running three more, a bit slower. I walked another lap and then felt pretty good so I started running again. I had finished two laps when I noticed the rest of the group gathering near the start/finish, so I stopped there--but I did those two laps in an even six minutes.
Afterwards, we all went for coffee, and it was great to chat with other runners. 'Til now, most of my running talking has been with people on Twitter and DailyMile, or with M., who admits to not being the happiest runner in the land (and that's okay, because he's an awesome trainer who puts up with panicked emails about knee pain and me begging for his RumblerRoller in a whiny voice...and have I mentioned that technically, he's not even "officially" my trainer anymore, but does this because he wants to help me?).
I'm jazzed. I'm definitely going again next weekend, and plan to spend my Saturday mornings on the track, getting better at running.
And because I'm a rock star, I also stopped at the gym on the way home to swim 250 meters, just because I felt like it.
So tomorrow, when I park my rear end on the beach in Santa Cruz with Meghan and her daughter, the ice cream I plan on buying is so guilt-free.