Running is slowly, but surely, starting to feel like something I look forward to again.
In fact, on Friday I spent a good portion of my lunch break researching new-to-me trails in the DMV that I could explore during my Saturday long runs. Coach Zach sent me a bunch of his old favorites, and I stumbled upon some good options in the some of national/state parks in the area.
When I woke up Saturday morning, I was so, so excited to lace up my shoes and get running.
I did my whole pre-long run routine, something I haven’t done in ages. Peanut butter toast breakfast, downing a ton of water, using the bathroom a million times. The only thing I didn’t do was wait around for Garmin to find satellites because I left Garmin at home.
My plan was to run long — much longer than I have in a while, and I knew I’d need to go slow and probably take some walk breaks if I wanted to explore further up the trail than normal. I didn’t want to get hung up on just how slow I was going.
And so I ran, and smiled at other runners and walkers out enjoying the beautiful weather. I hit a fork in the trail and stopped to chat with another runner about which way we should go.
I zoned out to my music and just enjoyed the sunshine and the trees and not being able to hear the sounds of persistent DC traffic.
When I finally reached the end of the trail, I took some time to stop and stretch and relax, before turning around and heading for home.
In total, I did something close to 8.5 or 9 miles. I have no idea how long it took me or how slow I went, but I could tell that my legs weren’t moving very fast and felt a little bit heavy on some of the hills.
When I got home, I wished I had the exact data from Garmin on how fast and far I went. I crave having that data. But during the run, I don’t miss the constant pressure of trying to hit certain paces.
I might bring Garmin back soon, since I really do miss the data afterward, but I think during the run, I’ll leave the screen flipped to just the time of day or something that doesn’t give me constant feedback on how slow or fast I’m going.
We’ll see. I’m still deciding. Right now, it’s just important to me that running be fun again.