I had three outings in 4 days, and even if I pushed the hardest tonight, I feel as if I could have gone for quite a few Ks more. Excellent!
It started Friday morning with a last recce of Sunday's KFMH3 trail. When I had first went there the previous Sunday, it had become apparent that my original plan was too long. The remedy to this was to turn it into an A-to-B course and doing it the other way around. Friday's run allowed me to find a good route to enter the mountain trail, and make sure that once I was on trail, I could recognize it easily. As experience hikers and trailrunners will tell you, a trail going one way looks quite different going the other way. It took me about 75 minutes to complete it, including a 5-minute break at a nice lookout point to enjoy a rice ball (my favorite on-course snack; fills you up, gives you energy, but doesn't feel heavy on the stomach). After the run I bought some tofu at the supermarket and ate some on the train; people were looking at me pretty funnily!
Then on Sunday was the day of the actual KFMH3 run. I walked the whole course, something I sort of needed to do as I started with almost 5kg of flour with me. I needed this much as virgins (newbies) were coming and rain was forecast for the afternoon. I had to change the course slightly in the beginning as the area was celebrating a shrine's fall festival. Near the end, I realized that a self-righteous citizen was probably going to erase some markings, so I warned the pack about it. Everyone enjoyed the course, even the people complaining that it was a little hard and whose muscles were hurting. With a waterfall, two temples, many lookouts and the site of a former castle, I guess it shouldn't be too surprising.
Then tonight I ran back home. I took a modified Yodo riverbank course, jogging up and down the dikes & pedestrian overpasses and taking a small detour, scouting for a future KFMH3 trail. I started at a good pace and never let down. Even with all the up and downhills on stairs, I felt good running the whole time. With about 2 kilometers to go, I even decided to increase the tempo pretty significantly, going as far as sprinting the last 20-30 meters or so. Arriving at Kugahashi shrine, my goal, I felt great at my accomplishment. Not only did I do more than usual, with all the up and downs and detour, but also I ran faster, putting on the turbo at the end.
It small things like this that are interesting with regular jogging, or any other exercise; sometimes you go beyond your usual limits without straining anything, and you know that you could actually have done even more. Knowing that your full potential is not yet realized is an exciting feeling, something to look forward to.