It sure FELT slow…

Distance: 4 mi

Miles to go: 1931

I took off on an old familiar trail today and from the first step I felt awful.  And the rest of them weren’t much better.  Not from a “I’m in pain” standpoint, just simply I’m out of shape and running is difficult right now.  Anyway, it certainly wasn’t going to stop me.  Within 20 steps I had resolved to enjoy the beautiful day and the fact that I was running again.  The trails are finally firming up again and there were only a couple of soft spots so the run through the trees and bridges was pleasant.

As I approached the first mile mark I played a little game of “what’s my time”.  My guess?  10: 15…  My time?  8:54.  Not flying, by any standard, but much faster Than I had expected given the way I felt!  Still I decided to ease up a bit for mile two and cruised through it at 9:07.  This route is an out and back with the turn at 2 miles so I decided to try to match my time coming back.  My third mile was 9:08 and about half way through it I started to feel much better so I decided to pick it up for the last mile and see if I could beat 37:00.  I ran my last mile in 8:39 to finish at 35:48.

Since I don’t have a “goal” other than running the distance, these games serve more to keep my mind occupied so I won’t obsess over every little twinge.  I don’t really care how fast I run but it IS a measure of my fitness, which is important to me.  It’s not the 7:15s I ran in my last 5K, but I’m not as far from it as I thought I was.  I do think, though, that I can get back down to that point (and maybe a little beyond) by the end of the summer if I work at it.  I may secretly set another goal of running a sub 22 5K by Thanksgiving… but don’t tell anybody…

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