I hit my summer goal this afternoon, without even trying!
FIVE MILES!! Timed at 49:59, with an average of 9:58. Yeah, I’m melting my time down!!
It’s been 13 days since my last run, when I vowed I would hit 5 miles by this summer. And to my glee, I didn’t feel out of shape all. I started off running and kept it going. My legs didn’t hurt. I was full of energy.
Last night I went to a friend’s party in the city, and slept in this afternoon. I woke up and wanted to run.
I drove to the same spot I had run last time, and decided to just run amuck today. I stopped caring about how fast I was going, or even where I was going.
I allowed myself to just follow whatever trail I felt like, trusting I would find my way back eventually. I had nowhere particular to be this afternoon.
Without either water or OFF!, I set out to explore the woods.
On the way I saw two girls laying on a blanket near the river bank, facing each other and cuddling. High school, maybe college. Their ponytails were splayed above their heads, and they were unaware of anything else around them. Ah, young love!
I came to a place in the woods with a big uprooted tree, and decided to climb it. My shoes didn’t have much traction, and it was clear myriad other trail hikers/runners had already scaled it. The tree was smooth, but I enjoyed finding footholds and hoisting myself up. I walked across the tree, balancing. I spied a fuzzy yellow caterpillar inching toward me. Then I balanced on a smaller root path across a little creek, and pulled myself up a hill by roots.
I got my shoes in the mud! Fantastic.
Two different girls, friends, were trying to take a picture together on that same tree. I offered to take it for them. They thanked me and I went on my way.
The trails were all so twisty I knew I’d never find my way back. But I wasn’t worried– I liked not knowing my path.
I passed several couples of men and women, mostly middle-aged, walking together. Some holding hands.
There were solo bikers, runners, people walking their dogs.
I stopped some of them to ask where I was– I knew somewhere in Shorewood. I asked how close I was to my starting point. I listened to their answers.
I asked God to guide me.
Just as I was really feeling thirsty, a red water pump appeared just ahead. I heaved myself on the handle and ice water spurted out. I cupped my hand under it and drank from it after several pumps. Refreshed, I kept going.
My phone announced I’d hit my initial goal for this run– 2.75 miles.
This is the first run where I’ve fully let GO like that— no plan, no worries about pace.
I’m starting to trust myself.
I’m learning to let go of control.
I did walk probably the last mile or a little more.
Finally I came back to exactly where I’d started and my phone clocked at 5.01 miles.
I smiled and cheered for myself.
Also , a running friend reminded me of another 5K coming up– I am registered!
With my first race, I think I expected that I would magically transform into the perfect runner with all the adrenaline I needed on race day. But I was still me, still struggling.
The only solution is just to keep registering for as many 5K’s as I can, to keep myself in a perpetual state of training.
I’m up for the challenge!!