Yesterday was a holiday from running, too, it seems.
There's something about those Monday holidays that just makes a person want to be as immobile as possible. I had forgotten to turn my alarm back on from Sunday to Monday, so I ended up sleeping a little later than I normally would. My dad is in town, and I wanted to spend time with him, so with everything going on, I decided I wasn't going to run yesterday. Lazy, I know, but I'm really okay with my decision. Running should be enjoyable, and when it gets in the way of something I want to do, then I run the risk of becoming dissatisfied with it, and I don't want that to happen.
So yesterday I slept in.
And today, I got up early. It seems like any time I want to get up before the sun, I have some sort of crazy dreams that make it really difficult. Fortunately, I had put my alarm far enough away that I was had to get on my feet in order to shut it off, and once I'm on my feet, it's easier to stay there. Not easy, but easier.
Since there was someone sleeping in the living room, I didn't even check my emails and various online worlds before I hit the road, which was a very nice change of pace. It meant that I was on the road a little earlier, and thereby done earlier.The sooner I've finished my workout, the sooner I can start working, and the more relaxed I feel later in the day. It was with no small amount of pride and joy that I hit the road this morning.
Before I'd left, I had read Hal's instructions for the week, and today it was recommended that I just take it easy. I actually ended up taking it even easier than usual. I did not want to disturb anyone, which meant that I couldn't go out onto the patio and get my hat and belt with which I normally run. I didn't take an iPod or wear a technical t-shirt. Instead, I went out in my old, ratty cloth shorts, a plain white undershirt, and a semi-functioning stopwatch. I felt oddly unprovided, and at the same time rather free.
There's something about running without any of the equipment that I've got that made me feel lighter and more connected with the actual athletic achievement of running. That being said, I also remembered exactly why I used those things that I do. I have long hair which, thanks to my excessively bouncy stride, bounces uncontrollably as I run. It wasn't so much a problem on the way down, when I had a headwind, as when I ran back and the wind from behind pushed my sweat-drenched locks into my eyes. Also, since I didn't have any pockets in the shorts, I had to carry my keys the whole way, which was more irritating than difficult. Mostly, I was concerned that they'd slip out of my fingers as I crossed a creek and I'd never see them again. Luckily, this was not the case.
There are days when I like feeling prepared for the run. Particularly on long run days, I feel good about suiting up with a tech shirt and a CamelPak and a SpiBelt filled with energy gels. It makes me feel closer to the professional runners that I so admire. Still, every now and then it's nice to go out with almost nothing. Those days make me feel closer to that runner I used to be, doing sprint work through Faurot Park in Lima, Ohio.
Running was easy back then, because the hours of practice dictated exactly when and how long I had to run. Now it's entirely up to me, and I like that. I've always avoided taking lessons in the things I enjoy, because when someone else makes you do it, it starts to feel less like fun and more like work. Perhaps this is why I have never really excelled at anything, but I feel like I'm doing pretty well now.
And this morning, I've got the five miles to prove it.
78 Degrees / Cloudy
37 Minutes, 25 Seconds