Sunday, April 18, 2010

Week One Down

I meant to write this post yesterday, when the run was fresh in my mind, but the weekend has gotten away from me a bit!  Normally, on Saturdays, I take a ceramics class from 12-3 - it's 40 minutes away, so I have to leave by 11:20 at the latest and normally don't get home until almost four, so it eats up quite a lot of time in my weekend.  But yesterday, I decided to play hooky.  I liked the idea of a whole Saturday stretching before me with no solid plans, when normally my weekends feel pretty rushed, trying to get all my household stuff accomplished on Sunday before jumping back into the work week.

But I didn't play hooky from running.  Instead, I suited up and headed out, expecting to enjoy the nice weather. But you know what they say about the best laid plans...

Having been away from running for a while, I forgot that each run is different. You can go from having a great run one day, to having a crappy run just a few days later - it's not always about forward momentum.  And that's where I was yesterday.  But it reminded me of another important lesson that running has taught me - even having a crappy run is better than no run at all.

I thought I'd be able to push myself like I did on Thursday, really punishing myself in the 60-second intervals.  But I was feeling exhausted and winded just jogging them.  By the end of my first 60 seconds, I was already feeling the burn in my lungs (of course, I forgot to do my inhaler before I left) and starting to get a stitch in my side.  So I re-set my plan for the morning and decided to conserve my energy during each interval so that I'd be able to finish all eight of them.  Since I'm a goal-oriented person (and very type-A), it's hard for me to not see progress each subsequent run, and to still be so disappointed at how long I was away from running and having to start over.  But yesterday's run was a good reminder to me that running isn't really about the finish line - it's about the journey.  Doing the couch to 5k program last year showed me how small building blocks could take me from 60 seconds of running at a time to 3.1 miles of running at a time.  Looking at the overall goal was always daunting, but each individual workout was manageable and got me to where I needed to be.  I am often so focused on the finish line that I forget to enjoy the journey (both in running and in life), so even in my first week back, it was good to be brought up short a little bit and get to think about just taking each run as it comes and eventually stacking them together to be the building blocks of competing again and finding my love of running again. 

So anyway, I appear to be waxing a bit philosophical about running tonight, and we'll see where that gets me for tomorrow's run.  I'm also going to my last fitness coaching appointment in the morning, so we'll see if I've made any progress in five days.  I must admit, I'm relieved to be done with the fitness coaching (I think) after tomorrow - it's very stressful! 

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