Last night I hit the vita course for my first real no-walking run.
Boy did I need it. It was a rough day at work for me. I'm in the midst of trying to write a grant for funding for new windows in a historic house.
Making new windows sound sexy is difficult. By the time I left, I had a very big headache.
I got to the course and was taking a moment to stretch when it dawned on me that I didn't have my tunes with me. For a minute I was unsure of how to proceed and considered going back to my car to dig through my gym bag, hoping that the iPod and earphones were in there somewhere. But to be honest, I can't even remember the last time I ran with tunes, so I figured that instead of blasting music directly into my skull for the next 30 minutes, I'd instead take some quiet time.
I'm so glad I did. I spent my first three pure running miles in months tuning into the run, soaking in all those things I had missed.
I listened to my foot falls on the soft gravelly surface. A steady, even, wonderful "thwomp thwomp thwomp."
I concentrated on trying to keep my steps as light as possible.
I heard the swish of my hair as my pony tail swept from side to side on my back and realized that my hair has grown a lot since the last time I ran. I don't remember hearing that sound before.
I paid attention to my breathing, noticing that maybe I'm not quite as out of shape as I thought.
I noticed when I hit that point when I wasn't cold anymore and the wind actually felt good. I forgot how much I love that feeling - when you start out and it's so cold that all you want to do is go back inside, but before you know it you've warmed yourself up and welcome that breeze that you dreaded a mile ago.
I also realized that I have a lot of work to do between now and the half marathon. Even though I felt good, the three miles was still not as easy as I remember.
When my Garmin beeped marking the end of mile 3, I checked in on my pace and was shocked to see that I had completed the 3 miles with an average pace of 8:50. I was even more impressed with myself when I downloaded the full data at home and saw that I somehow managed to run the exact same pace for miles 2 and 3.
Crazy, right? This out of the girl who cannot pace to save her life.
Aside from discovering an ability to maintain speed, the run also solved my headache problem, reminding me just how much better my life is when I'm running.
Feels good to be back.