Sorry I haven’t been around much lately. I came down with a pretty nasty bug last week and I’m just starting to feel more like myself. Still not 100% though. I’ve been getting exercise here and there, but I’ve been really surprised how much energy and strength I lost from all this. But with the gorgeous weather last night I decided that I couldn’t pass up the chance to run and was determined to head out with my runners group.
The weather was ideal, and my legs were feeling good (yay!) but my stomach just wasn’t quite there yet. I decided early on that I wasn’t going to be able to run the full 6 (partly because of my stomach but also because I’m just beginning to run normally again. No reason to go ahead and aggrevate my legs by racking up the miles). The first quarter mile of our run is downhill…a very nice way to ease into things. But right out of the gate I wasn’t feeling fantastic and couldn’t quite keep up, which was really frustrating. I rejoined the group when we got stopped at an intersection, and followed in with them closely for the next half mile or so. Conversing was out of the question for me. But I was hoping to draft the group (not sure that’s the correct usage of the verb but just go along with it) and tuck myself in at the tail end and just kind of flow. But it soon became apparent that this wasn’t going to happen and I slowly let the group drift away from me (I had my own headlamp, reflectors, and knew that there were two runners still behind me somewhere). I’ll tell you, it was a little difficult to watch them run away from me in the dark. I’m competitive by nature, and while I’m not competing with any one of them (I wouldn’t stand a chance) there was this little voice in my head yelling at me to keep up and prove myself. It was just like in the old cartoons where you have an angel and devil on your shoulders. One side was yelling at me. But then the other jumped in and reminded me that it’d be stupid to run faster or farther. I’m just starting to come back from running, and while I’m in great shape, I haven’t run in awhile and my fitness level is not quite there yet. You can cycle and swim all you want, but it’s just not comparable to what your body feels when you’re running. So at 2.06 miles, at an average of 8:29 min/mile, I turned around and headed back. But right before I did, a biker came up behind me and passed. His bright, fluorescent headlamp revealed my pack that I thought had left me in the dust. Turns out they really weren’t much further ahead than me.
I slowed up my pace for the next two miles back to the shop and finished 4.21 miles in 37:23. Not bad. In fact, I probably should have run slower. My point of all this: I’m really glad I did the run, upset tummy and all. And I’m really glad I let the pack go. I’m carrying so much on my shoulders these days, everyone’s problems plus my own feelings about it all. Letting my group run away from me was my own way of letting things go and just living completely in the moment, even if it was only for an hour. Just another one of those interesting things running can do for you.