Ever since I ran that first horrible 5k, running has been about the challenge for me. Meeting the goal, beating my previous time, getting faster, going farther. Yes, it’s been fun along the way, or I wouldn’t keep doing it. But I never really stopped and thought about the fun part of it. The focus was always the one step ahead.
The last three weeks were rough for me and running. My shins decided to rebel as a way of telling me to slow down. Last year I ran two marathons and also tried to reach a really big time goal in two half marathons, with some other fun races thrown in the mix. That’s a lot of running! Immediately trying to get super fast for a 10k personal record was a little stupid of me. And thankfully I listened when my shins screamed back at me. I took a mini-break, slowed down, ran easy miles, mostly just a single one each day. And on Saturday’s pre-race shake out run, I did my usual 3 mile neighborhood loop at a very slow, enjoyable pace. Out of the blue, it just hit me. This is fun. I feel great. I’m so thankful to be out here doing this. And it was a nasty, humid, rainy, foggy morning. I went into Sunday’s race ready to have fun and see what happened.
An almost 2 minute PR happened. After 3 weeks without training, rain, fog, and 100% humidity. And I loved every painful hill and every curving mile. Running in Austin is a challenge in itself, with its crazy hilly, loopy streets. But I never thought about the challenges yesterday. I was just happy to be out there.
Summer’s coming to Texas. It’s already blazing hot. It’s time for a nice, easy running break. I’ll probably keep up my mile a day, because my brain cannot handle NO running. Unless it needs to. One day at a time. Just running happy.