Full circle

Sheesh! It’s been awhile. I have been running, though taking it kind of easy – I had a pretty relaxed and unharried month of easy runs following my 3rd half on July 17, and I think it was totally worth it. Monday I did my longest run since that half – a sweaty 5-miler.

This coming Sunday I’ll run with my best friend Laurel in her very first 5k, in the same race, incidentally, that was MY very first 5k a year ago! I completed it back then in a time of 34:02, which at that time left me dying and gasping at the end, and though I know I could run it faster this year, I’m going to forget about that and just enjoy running with my friend as she completes the same milestone I did a year ago. It’ll be exciting to cross the finish line with her! When we were kids we used to run all the time, usually pretending we were racehorses, ha, and I can’t wait to race with her again.

She was in town during my birthday week in late August and we walked/ran the 2.8 mile wooded trail in my neighborhood. It’s a pretty awesome trail I hadn’t been on for about 5 years (I used to run/walk it with a then-boyfriend back in 2006, but after we broke up I didn’t feel comfortable running the trail alone) with a lot of varied terrain and viewpoints, not to mention mostly shaded, so even though the day was pretty warm (we were sweating pretty bad just on the walk over to the trail) I felt great once we started to jog. Laurel is more an on again/off again runner and we ended up running probably around a mile and a half of the total trail, but it was awesome and the dirt surface felt great under my feet after a year of pounding on concrete on all my runs.

I’ve also lately kind of come to accept the fact that I’m not fast, and I likely will never BE fast, and that’s OK – as long as I’m out there running and enjoying it, I shouldn’t fret that I’m not too much faster than I was a year ago – in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter. Maybe I will never run a 25-min 5k or a respectable half – but I’ll still be finishing races and that’s what’s important. I think some things COULD potentially improve my speed – eating better, dropping that last 10-15 pounds, starting speedwork – but even if I never get my comfortable “easy” pace below a 10 min mile I think I am happy just running. If I do eventually end up getting faster… bonus!

One thing I am NOT looking forward to is having to return to the treadmill this fall/winter once it’s too dark in the evening to run outside… I either need to suck up my fears and just run in the dark (and get a running rain jacket maybe) or suck up my pride and hit the dreadmill. UGHHHH…

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