First Steps

Have to say I’m a bit proud of myself. After last week’s 5k run with Virginia at Wellsprings, I realized a) that I can run 3 miles and b) that I’m pretty blocked in my thinking of what I can do regarding running.

So today I went to the Pawlings lot that links to the Valley Forge trail and ran. And ran. And ran some more.

84 minutes later, I’d gone 8.5 miles. I’m not fast, but I kept my form relatively safe and my pace, while it slackened off late, didn’t go over the cliff. It helped that it was a beautiful day. Sunny, little wind, 40s headed to the 50s.

Funny the walls we build around our aspirations.

I’m grateful:

  • to Virginia, who ran with me last week and kicked my tail, which made me look at my ability and self-made blockages.
  • to BJ Gaddour, Adam Campbell, David Jack, and the whole Speed Shred/Spartacus at Work gang. I used to say I couldn’t run distances because of my back or my knees. But my back is better than it’s been in almost two decades and while I’m pretty sure there’s something pre-arthritic about my knees, they are functional and the lunges and other exercises have gotten the structure around them as strong and healthy as it’s been since I was much younger. I realize that when I thought I couldn’t do it, the reason was, well, because I COULDN’T, you know? Funny the walls we build around our aspirations.
  • to Wellsprings, for hosting an early spring 5k that got me thinking–and moving, in a particular way.

My goal, now, I think, is to participate in the NY Urbanathlon in October. Last fall I was there to help with some marketing efforts and I thought it was beyond me. Today, I’m feeling up to the challenge. That’s a good way to start a weekend, or a season, or the next day of your life.

Couple other things I realized:

  • I used the Runkeeper app on my phone and knowing generally where I was (how long, how far) made a big difference. I felt like I had the information I needed to make decisions. Excellent. Funny thing, though, was when I checked on Runkeeper and saw that it saved the event as “snowboarding.” Note to self: Learn the darn app.
  • I’ve never been a headphones-while-exercising person, but I tried that and, what do you know, it makes running easier when you have something else to concentrate on other than noting that your lungs and legs are on fire. Note to self: Add some up-tempo playlists to Spotify.

P.S. Sunday update: I’m a little sore in my hamstrings, but not THAT sore. Got in 20-25 minutes of Speed Shred-esque exercises, with Kelly, in the basement. Feeling good!

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