For reasons that seem a bit trite now, I got involved in a rather nasty argument yesterday evening, which left me feeling quite upset and wound up. So rather than lie in bed grinding my teeth to stumps, I got up and went out for a run at midnight. No route, no plan of distance, no headphones, just went left out the front gate and ran.
After the first few minutes I started running faster, I suppose driving out my demons with exertion. It all sounds a bit Forrest Gump as I write it, but it did the trick. I didn't thin about the row or being upset or anything I just kept running harder.
I ran places I have not run before simply because I was on complete autopilot navigationwise (not sure that is a good analogy, presumably autopilot locks into a route ratehr than being random, but YKWIM). At one point I startled a large badger who I had to vault over. Not sure whether he was more alarmed or I, but I didn't stop to ask.
When I got tired I ran home. I had no idea how long I had been out for or how far I had run, but felt a lot better and slept quite well after.
I was surprised then, this morning, while listening to the Archers on my laptop when my Garmin pinged to say it had transferred data. I must have started it when I set off out of sheer force of habit, without even realising.
I was even more surprised to discover that I had run a shade over 18k last night, and at the 10k had taken 7.40 off my PB, and extrapolating out another 3k would have taken 13 minutes off my HM time.
So there you have it. If you want to set a really good race time, have a really bloody row with someone an hour or so before the start.
It also goes to show how much more we could push ourselves if we tried. I have been chipping away at my 10k time for a while, and am always pleased to shave 10 seconds off her and 15 seconds off there. More than 7 and a half minutes is something else entirely, and had you ased me yesterday I would have thought the idea ridiculous.