Friday, May 16, 2014

A Good Run

Chicago's had a long, brutal winter. Some may argue we're still in winter as snowflakes flew in some suburbs earlier today.

Normally, spring is an open invitation to hit the pavement quite often - at lunch, before work or in the evening as the days get longer. But this year is different. Between the cooler than average temperatures and my new found joy of inversions and arm balances at The Lab, it's been easy to stay out of my running shoes.

I'd be lying to say it hasn't been a struggle some days to get out there. When you run less, your body is less conditioned for the activity, which in my case has lead to a load of crappy runs. Slow, labored runs. I find myself thinking:

Is this how it feels to start over? It must be. Feels like I never ran. Ever. And that person that ran two marathons last year...If you see her, can you remind her she needs to get my body back into shape? And by the way, where's this "muscle memory" I hear so much about? I used to enjoy doing this, right?

Yesterday I went on a late lunch hour run. I stood outside my office building waiting for my Garmin to locate satellites.  I'll admit, I can be an inpatient person, and the Garmin does test that. As it cycled through it's 4th attempt to find satellites, I'd come to realize how cool it was outside and regretted my outfit choice of a long sleeved shirt and shorts. Maybe I should just go back inside, I thought. This just wasn't meant to be.

But dammit, I was already outside. I'd worked past 95% of the obstacles that keep me from getting out on a run. Now I just had to move - literally.

I started pretty slow as in recent weeks I've found myself talking a few walk breaks mid run. As I warmed up, I felt pretty good. But I didn't want to get too excited too early. I did want to run for four miles. I headed south down to the Shedd Aquarium where I filled up my water bottle and adjusted my playlist.

On the way back, things started to connect. I felt good. Nothing was aching. I wasn't out of breath. I wasn't too hot. I had great music and plenty of water.

As I got back to work, I breathed a sigh of relief.

Ok, I can still run. Let's chalk today's effort up as a success and keep building on it.

After all, Ragnar Relay is just a few weeks away and I have three legs to run, not to mention many other races this summer and fall.

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