- A trail is not the best place to practice going faster. I looked at my feet a lot to avoid roots, compromising whatever form I have left.
- Retractable leashes are amazing. Jack has to pee on just about every tree, so even during a fast moment he has enough slack to run ahead, find a nice tree, do his thing, and catch up before he runs out of line.
- Hills matter. The first two pick-ups felt amazing. They were also downhill. Funny how that makes it feel like you're flying, eh? Three and four were flat, but numbers five and six were uphill. I felt fine, but not like I was flying.
- Running fast(er) feels more natural to me than my slow pace. Every time I sped up, my torso leaned forward, I landed more on my midfoot than my heel, and my body felt lighter. My muscles did not seem to care that I was speeding up; if anything, they approved.
- I am out of shape. Yes, my legs and feet and muscles felt great, but the lungs did not enjoy this little exercise! By the end it felt like a workout. At home, I was pink for half an hour, and I ran in the shade.
Based on all of that, I've decided to do these pick-ups with every run (or nearly every run) until my pace gets closer to my normal. My body doesn't mind; I am only sore today because I thought it would be fun to do two one-minute planks after the run. My lungs mind, but I don't care. They will improve quickly. Mostly, though, I just like feeling like a runner.