When I closed the main gate and matched out into the cold 4.50AM night, I wasn’t thinking that this could be the day when my running will pass a milestone. I just knew that I would run well. On Wednesday I had run alone in the rain for six kilometers before I finally saw another jogger. Running along Kangundo Road in the rain had been rather tricky since the parts of the footpath were flooded. Drainage on this road is much better than other roads, so there it must have been clogged somewhere. At the end of the run, I registered a speed of 6.48 minutes per kilometer, my worst in weeks. But then, I had been running in the rain. Mostly alone. I had the footpaths all to myself and that was a lot of fun.
Two days later on Friday, there I was, running on Rhino road with the usual slower pace. I was however practicing landing mid sole as opposed to landing on the heels. A runner’s footstrike can contribute to a faster overall speed and reduce injury. I had watched James Dunne analyzing Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-two hour marathon and it was evident that the Greatest of All Time was landing mid-sole. So that’s what I was practicing now, and I was seeing good results. Coach Nate of The Run Experience had further expounded why a mid-sole footstrike was best for longer distance running.
When I hit Moi Drive, I noticed something interesting. I felt that I was moving faster even though my body was a lot more relaxed. I wasn’t straining like I usually did. The same applied on Usain the Usain Stretch adjacent to Kayole Spine Road. I just kept going. That massively heavy panting was gone. I was just springing alone, missing the rain that had pounded my back two days earlier but loving the dry ground. When I landed at Kangundo road, the running cruise now seemed to be in auto gear. I only stopped briefly at the mandazi junction then continued cruising along. At Kangaru Road in Komarock, it was as if my almost tattered Nike shoes had springs in them.
Was I finally experiencing the Flow? Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's world-famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In essence, they just flow as they engage in whatever endeavor they have immersed themselves into.
When I arrived back at Whitehouse just after 6.10AM, my running app proudly informed me that I had run at an average speed of 6.07 minutes per kilometer. My fastest ever speed outside the Sports Club running track. I smiled proudly as I waved to the security guard at our Court’s main gate.