Even though it's Sunday, I was up early this morning (7:00) to run. Actually, 7:00 is sleeping in for me these days. But it's still early for a lot of people, and most of my friends are not out the door at 7:30 to run a 5K around the neighborhood.
What can I say? Runners are weird.
It had been two weeks since my last run (which, you might recall, was a half marathon), so I was anxious to get out there and do something. At first I thought I'd just walk, but as my legs warmed up, and after a few minutes of gentle stretching, I figured I could run-walk a mile. Just take it slow, etc.
But about half a mile in, I felt really good and thought maybe two miles would do it.
Then I ended up thinking, "Ah, what the hell," and running a little more than a 5K. I was even faster than I've been in a long time, by about a minute. Perhaps the rest did some good.
As I ran, the sun was coming up over the Sacramento Valley, and it was very quiet in the neighborhood. I encountered few cars and even fewer pedestrians, leaving me to enjoy the solitude and the rhythm of getting back out there. I've been working out consistently at the gym, so this first post-half run wasn't too difficult. My legs protested here and there, but I am in good enough shape to bounce back from breaks quickly.
It's funny how I can miss running so much when I take a break. This one was needed--to recover physically from the Urban Cow, yes, but also to give myself a mental break. Running is as much a head game with oneself as it is a physical activity. The last few months have been about increasing mileage and learning how to keep myself hydrated and motivated. It's nice to be back to running just for fitness and fun. Though that might not last long--I'm eyeing the Shamrock'n Half in March, and thinking about joining a training group at Fleet Feet.
But in the mean time, my morning runs are back. I'm determined to get out there during the week again, not just on Sunday. It keeps me grounded, focused, and I love my little date with the quiet world in the mornings.