So we were all excited that Saturday Running Commentary was back, and then, well, it wasn’t any more. This morning, I had no plan to run. I had a vague thought that perhaps at some point today, I’d give it a try. So there I was, about an hour before Steven had to be at work, thinking, what would I do? I really needed a shower. Shower now, run later, shower again? Stay stinky, run later, shower then? Oh, hell, like Nike says, just do it.
I got my gear on, I got out the door. I was doing it!
I figured I had enough time to run for 20 or 23 minutes and do my cool down walk with Tabby before Steven had to leave. Of course it was not really a problem if he left while I was gone, but he is a creature of habit. He might lock me out of the house without thinking about it. Then too, I do like to kiss him good-bye. I’m that sort of a wife.
The first thing I realized was that I was running faster than my usual pace. Naturally I was; I was in a hurry to finish the run before Steven left. The problem with that is I run for a certain length of time, not a certain distance. Twenty minutes is twenty minutes, whatever pace I run. Silly me. Well, the pace felt good. I kept it up as long as I felt like it and slowed down when I had to.
The second thing I noticed was that I was cold. My thermostat said the outdoor temperature was 45. That is normally shorts and t-shirt running weather for me, adding a sweatshirt for the cool down walk. But I am out of shape (actually, I maintain that round and puffy is a shape, so I guess technically I am NOT out of shape, but you know what I mean). So I felt a little cold. My hands felt really cold. At least my ears were OK, because I had found a headband which covered them.
The world was grey and gloomy. It had rained in the night but had luckily stopped. I don’t mind gloom. It suits me. I dodged around some of the puddles but was unable to avoid all the mud. No matter. I could take off my sneakers at the door.
As I ran, it occurred to me that it was not a problem. I can get back into running ANYTIME, I told myself. This is EASY! Really, it felt better and better. I even stopped feeling so cold. I suppose my hands might have been numb, but I didn’t need to use them. They’d be fine.
The question was how far to run. I had done 23 minutes when I ran two weeks ago. I thought 20 would be OK, since I was beginning again (yes, my two-weeks-ago run was supposed to be beginning again; sometimes these things don’t work out). Then I thought, I have been running for 23 minutes for a while now, with all these new beginnings. Perhaps I should break the 23 minute barrier.
Then again, I had the whole rest of my Saturday to get through, with a not inconsiderable list of chores I wanted to get done. I probably shouldn’t rack myself up. I mean, the idea isn’t to run as far as one can possibly run, is it? Oh, I suppose for some people it is. I finally compromised on 24 minutes.
As I finished the run, my inner critic said, this is no way to build up time. But my optimism, buoyed up by the thought that I HAD RUN, said, perhaps not, but it is a very good way to begin again. I ignored the inner critic’s math as she began to tally up the number of times I have tried to begin again.
As Tabby and I walked my cool down, I felt terrific. I love running! I have a definite plan to run tomorrow, and at least twice in the coming week. Thus I publish my intentions, in hopes it will encourage me to follow through.
Now about that list of chores…