I ended up sleeping in today and missing Mass, because my legs were so sore. And maybe because my first 5K took more out of me than I was anticipating, truthfully.
I’m not sure why, because I’ve run farther than yesterday several times now. But I only had one other run that fast– and after that I waited probably three days to run.
What I’m experiencing is “the burn,” as I take it. It’s a sign that I did things right!
But this afternoon I redeemed myself by going for a run in a new place. I didn’t know the trail– I just felt like trying it.
I found a shadowy arch of trees covering a gravel trail. And I took a chance.
And for extra excitement, I DID NOT spritz on my OFF! Living dangerous, people.
The trail was small, maybe a foot across? Or less.
And the weather was perfect– circa 75 degrees, overcast.
Meandering through the foliage was such an adventure! I was stepping through and over all kinds of plants and roots. I had the vague feeling I had been there many years ago, as a Girl Scout. I never made it past the rank of Brownie, because my troop didn’t have a leader and disbanded. I never picked it up again.
Twice, I tripped and went down. My first time! I ended up with a few little scrapes on my knees and thigh– luckily nothing else.
But both times I just got right back up and kept going.
“THIS is running,” I told myself. And I was convinced in that moment that indeed, my early hunch was right on: I am a sucker for trail running.
The best surprise was that my inner compass has advanced– I never got lost or panicked. If I wasn’t sure, I was able to just slow down for a moment and be logical. Then I’d make a decision and proceed. I followed it pretty far through several places where it branched off and was able to remember and have the confidence to keep going.
I felt both safe and challenged.
Dirt, rocks, roots. I love it.
Near the end, it started spitting! As I’ve said before, that’s an expression my Grandma used for light rain. It was the perfect balance to the humidity. I smiled to myself.
All this lush life surrounding me was magical– I felt like the White Rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland,” scurrying around.
Except I wasn’t late for anything– I had nowhere else to be. It was perfect.
So instead of skipping a run today, I got back out there.
I hope to get to the point where running an entire 5K will be a no-brainer for me.
But one run at a time, one trail at a time, I’m gaining confidence and endurance.