I have to admit, I haven’t felt much like a runner recently. That is probably why I haven’t been posting much. I didn’t realize this until my run today. I mean, I ran a 30 day streak. How could I not feel like a runner?
Due to weather and lack of enthusiasm, I have been running all my miles on my treadmill (I got a new one, more on that later). It has rather reached the point that I don’t even want to go outside for my run, the treadmill is just so much easier. I have always been an outdoor runner, the treadmill was only supposed to be backup. How did this happen?
Fortunately, today was in the mid-30s. I had to go to town for all my normal weekend errands, and I decided to run on the Rail Trail while I was there. I figured it was mostly flat (easy) and they plow it (they don’t scrape down to the pavement, I discovered), so how hard could it be?
It was probably my first outdoor run since October. Early October. And the miles outdoors are never as quick as the miles on the treadmill, which pretty much makes you run at the set speed regardless of how your legs feel, or what you are looking at, or if your lungs are blowing up. If you don’t keep the pace, you get your face rubbed by the belt. But outdoors, I have a hard time keeping a consistent pace. I tend to lollygag while sightseeing.
I really wasn’t sure how I was going to feel, so I didn’t have a real plan on speed or distance. Imagine my surprise when my app informed me my first mile was 9:43. Not bad considering I ran a loop around the lot, then dithered before stopping at my car to grab my gloves before heading down the trail.
I felt pretty good at that point, so I decided I would go out far enough to do a three mile run. But, of course, then I had to go out further. OCD is a bitch. I turned around at the two mile mark and made my goal to get back with a time under 40 minutes. I just made it (39:21).
But I feel like a runner again. Why?
I felt great the whole run. It was something I was enjoying, not something I had to do. I love nature, so being out in it relaxed me in a way the treadmill just can’t. The last mile had the most uphill grades, and the wind was pushing against me, and I had already put 3 miles behind me, but it was my fastest mile. I realized I could still do that, go out for longer runs (3.5 is the longest I have run since summer), on uncertain ground, push hard and truly enjoy every moment. That is why I run. And that is what I needed to remember.