After relaxing, playing some Rock Band, and having (finally) a good night's sleep, I decided to try again today. JayZ went down for a nap, and the sun was out and it was near 50 degrees (my favorite running weather), so I donned Brooks Comeback Hoodie, my iPod shuffle, the Garmin, and my shoes.
And I thought I'd try again.
Here's a rough estimate of my internal monologue.
Wow, it's nice out here. The snow is melting, the sky is blue, and I don't even have to wear gloves or a hat. This rocks.
Even the air smells like spring. I'm not naive enough to believe that this means spring is officially in Northeastern Ohio...I've lived here long enough to understand that March is, at best, schizophrenic in its weather patterns. But this is a taste. And the sun sure feels good on my face.
Today is Jackson's 5 month birthday.
Today is 5 months until I'll be diving in the water at Steelhead.
How has it already been five months?
Here it goes...mile 1. BEEP
Huh. How 'bout that. That's exactly the pace I'll need to hit to run a 4 hour marathon in the fall. Heart rate is good, but that's a little fast for a ten mile run. I'd better slow down. I'd like to hold this thing around 9:15.
Oops. There's a puddle. Damn. Now my feet are wet. Oh well...it just means it's warming up.
I wonder if Jackson woke up yet.
There's an Obama sign. I wonder what's going to happen this Tuesday. Our state's gonna play a pretty big role here. That's kind of exciting.
I need to make a final decision. There are things I love and things I despise about all three of the big candidates. I think I know who I'm going to vote for Tuesday. I think.
Okay, here comes Mile 2. BEEP
Huh? (Makes a strange face) Okay...heart rate's still good. Where did that come from? Regardless...I'd better slow down. I can't hang for 10 miles at this pace.
More Obama signs. No Hillary ones. Interesting.
Mile 3. Here I go...BEEP
Okay, what the FREAK SHOW IS GOING ON.
Is this some kind of joke? Am I running downhill AND with a tailwind?
But this is the same route I always run when the snow is melting. Melty Snow Route is great because I can run on sidestreets and avoid slushy sidewalks and stuff.
Heart rate is still good. RPE is still relatively easy.
I guess I'll...go with it?
Because. I'm trying to show you something here.
Am I going to keel over after ten miles at this pace?
Nope. I'm trying to show you.
Show me what?
You're not the same.
I know that...I'm having a hard time trying to figure out who exactly I am now and how to be this new person...
Well, just stop already.
I mean, stop. Stop analyzing. Stop worrying. Stop comparing. Just do this thing.
Be what you're becoming.
Understand that you can't stick to some schedule you might have used before. You need to be flexible, you need to bend more. You need to cut yourself some slack.
I know...I'm trying...
And I'm trying to show you just how much you've changed.
I'm trying to show you how strong you are now.
You never believe me. You always try to talk yourself out of it. So I'll just show you, now, out here, how strong you've become.
And then I just ran. I just ran at a pace that felt good, and at a heart rate that was appropriate for a longer run. I heard a few birds. I saw kids making slushy snowmen out of the heavy, melting snow. I saw other runners out, enjoying the day. I saw what my watch said, and I could hardly believe it.
Before I knew it, I was back at home. A far cry from yesterday's failed attempt at a run. I finished my ten miles.
At an average pace of 8:53.
My body has always, always been smarter than me. Time and time again, it's tried to tell me what should be obvious. What I should know anyway.
I am strong enough for this. And getting stronger every single day.
I know today won't be the last time I see snow on the grass. I'm sure we'll have another few storms here in March--and they are traditionally the worst ones of the year. Last year we got a foot of snow on Easter in early April, for crying out loud.
But Spring is coming.
Things are changing. Including me.
And whatever storms might still brew in my mind, today showed me that the sun is coming. The weather's getting warmer. The sky didn't turn dark last night until almost seven.
Things are changing around here. Mostly with me.
So, hopefully, you'll stick around to watch this. I have a feeling it's going to get pretty good.