Today I ran after work, starting at 6:30. I had a somewhat frustrating day and knew this was the stress-reliever I needed.
I returned to yesterday’s location, but took a different route. It was mostly road– I recognized I was running the periphery of the forest from yesterday.
I made a decision again to just let go and try something new, though this time I was on a time crunch, and it would be dark soon. It was a bit windy and overcast– felt like fall!! How I relished that flirtatious breeze hinting of a chill.
This time, I happened upon a group of kids, who seemed to be having a race of some kind. Adults were standing near a stretch of road as kids crossed over and others cheered. I wanted to go where they were going.
I saw a newer friend from this year– turns out she’s involved with a kids’ cross-country team. Her daughter was in it!
It just felt like I was going the right way. My running app announced I’d hit my first mile and I kept going for a bit, but couldn’t resist the pull toward the woods.
This time I DID put on OFF! The last thing I need is a bunch of bites.
Ahh, a hill descending! I skipped down it precisely, angling to the side so that I didn’t fall or slide. And at the bottom, there was my uprooted tree again. I hauled myself up again and this time balanced across it without slipping. I was getting mud all over me– my shoes, hands, legs.
And then the climb back upwards. A short wooden bridge!
Today I had programmed a Prince track into my Pandora– so perfect. I got “Dirty Diana,” and “Jungle Love,” while navigating that tree and the hill and meeting the trail again.
I exited the forest quicker this time, and sensed I was close to getting back to where I began.
I was right– I saw my car but kept going because I wanted to get at least 2.5 miles. I had wanted three, but was already almost late for my plans and it was getting dark.
But 2.55 miles in 43:04 isn’t so bad! It’s only half my distance from yesterday but considering I started early evening after a full day’s work and didn’t have the sunshine, I think that’s pretty dang good.
The biggest change is that it didn’t feel so rough. I remember when I could barely breathe after that distance.
And I got in two runs on consecutive days.
I still had to walk a few little times. But my body is getting acclimated to running.
It’s happening! There’s no going back now.
And it totally worked. I was a little muddy, just sweaty enough, and smiling by the time I ended my run and got in my car to drive home.
I realized I didn’t need to talk out the things that had bothered me, or at least not all of them. Running just made me at peace and renewed my faith that tomorrow will be better.
Yay for endorphins!