Five By Five

runningtodayI went for a run outside today, my first in quite some time.  My mind is on the Spartan Super in September, the VIA half marathon the same month, and the Runner’s World Hat Trick in October.  I wanted to log some respectable miles.

I ran just over three.

Which is, in all actuality, completely respectable.  It was hot as desert monkey balls and I haven’t been pushing the distance lately.  I’ve been scaled back as I learn what I can handle without sending my body into an EBV tailspin.  Three miles is perfectly fine.

I typically am not fine with fine.  I don’t like vanilla unless there’s caramel and chocolate and KitKats on top.  I prefer my hair with a streak of bubblegum pink or blood red.  I may drive a minivan, but it’s covered with Spartan Race stickers and marathon magnets.  Events and kicking ass are part of who I have become.  To not be able to kick ass when I have grown so accustomed to it kind of sucks.

Actually, it sucks a lot.

The thing is, I must remind myself that I cannot simply pick up where I left off, especially if where I left off was 26.2 miles.  I must remind myself that I EBV is also a part of who I am now.

I did the right thing while I was out.  I started back a road that takes me on a nice 5-to-6-mile jaunt, replete with hills to make my quads and hamstrings quiver and my ass ache the next day.  I love that route.  It’s beautiful; it’s challenging; it’s familiar.  I have lost myself there on many occasions, and as all runners are aware, losing oneself is the moment the run goes from “just a run” to “zen-filled nirvana.”

I got maybe 100 feet up that first hill and began the argument with myself.  No, not the one that says, “You can do this! Just push through it!”  It was my old Ego reflecting on distances run in the spring, events to be run in the fall, and the miles I intended to run today.  All the while my Body reminded me that we needed to ease back into those distances or those events wouldn’t see me at the starting line – and possibly I wouldn’t be out of bed for the next few days if I pushed past my limits.  I hemmed and hawed and finally turned back, finishing two miles shy of my plans.  When I reached my yard, I was exhausted and drenched in sweat and slightly nauseous.

But happy.

I did it.  I didn’t have to, necessarily.  I could have opted for yet another treadmill workout or a DVD from my vast library.  But I know I need to get back outside to train and I know I ought to get used to some level of heat.  So I did it.  I wrenched myself from the pull of household chores (no, really…I was in a groove) and logged those three miles.

Next week, it’ll be five.


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