I felt some of the fun return to running today.
Early in the mileage, I started thinking about everything that I have going on, and I wondered why I always let my schedule get away from me. Every step of that first mile, I was composing various emails that I would have to send when I got home. I was thinking about research that I had to do and home improvement supplies that I had to buy. I was frustrated and stressed. And I was flying.
My pace was too hot, and I knew it, but I didn't really care. Yesterday, the stress of everything actually kept me from getting out the door on my run, and it had been bothering me all evening. Add to that all the other things going through my mind, and all I wanted to do was run to exhaustion.
So when I hit the halfway point, I was already a couple minutes ahead of my goal pace. Not smart. I stopped and took a second to think.
Really, I had no reason to be upset. How long does it take to send an email? And the supplies that I needed are A) not essential and B) not all that expensive. And so what if I didn't run yesterday? I was running now. There was nothing that I needed to do that could not be done. I simply had to stop, slow down, and take everything one at a time. First up, complete the run.
I backed down my pace just a little bit, and let my mind focus on the things I could do, on the steps it would take to get everything accomplished. As it turns out, my second half was only 12 seconds slower than the first. My mind carried my legs today.
What really marked today's run as particularly fun, however, was one simple fact: I didn't run yesterday, and that's okay.
I enjoy looking at my spreadsheet of mileage and paces. I like thinking about what my next run is going to be and how many miles I'm going to run in any given month. I like to put together a training plan that is a combination of what the experts recommend and what I know about my own body. I carefully craft a specific plan, and when I stray from that plan, I have always gotten very discouraged. As such, yesterday's lack of mileage could have been a massive disappointment.
Instead, I feel like it was a helpful rest. I felt stronger today because I didn't run yesterday, and I'm not going to make up those miles, which is fine. I'm in great running shape right now. My success on Saturday proved that, so if I miss one run every now and then, it's no big deal.
I really believe that now, and that makes running fun again. I am beholden to no one buy myself, and I'm proud of me.
Which, I guess, means I've had a good day.