I got home on Friday planning to throw on my workout clothes and Zumba, but I decided I’d rather sit on the couch and play videogames… so I did that instead. BUT – I ran on Saturday morning. I had to make some effort to push myself out the door, and I didn’t really have a route mapped out in my head. It helps me to have a route or some kind of plan, because then I feel obligated to see it through to the end, and then I feel like I’ve actually accomplished something when I’m done. I went out into the world with new sneakers and a lack of direction. Well, I turned right and just kept going forward until eventually, I had to turn left. I usually like running on trails or in parks so I don’t have to worry about cars, but I find that I really like running past people’s houses and yards. Speeding by in cars, you don’t really get a chance to see some of the weird stuff that you notice when you’re only moving 3 1/2 miles per hour. For instance, there is one house completely obscured by trees and brush. There isn’t a paved driveway, but there is a serious gate that blocks a clearing on the yard that I have decided is or was where a car used to park. I have never actually seen a vehicle, but I can see tire ruts in the grass. I can also see a stack of tires (?) in the backyard, so I’d like to imagine these people are either really cool modern artists, serial killers, or hoarders. Maybe the house is just vacant. There is an old “Beware of Dog” sign, but I see no signs of life in the bit of the yard that is visible. They have a patch of bamboo right in front, and all I think when I see bamboo is “Well, there goes the neighborhood.” Talk about an invasive species. Oh my, I’m veering away from stories about running. I’ll have to write a short story or something to satisfy my curiosity about that house later.
Seventeen minutes and a little over a mile later, after making other turns in various directions, I found myself back at my front door. It might not seem like a great run, but in my defense, I was breaking in new awesome electric green sneakers, and for some reason, my legs felt so incredibly heavy- I could barely get them moving. I was totally running out of steam by the time I got home. I was using the stopwatch feature on my phone to keep my time. Normally, I just hold my phone and estimate my time to the minute. I got inside, sweating in an entirely too-disgusting manner for the middle of December (seriously, my husband kissed me on the forehead after I had sat down inside and then declared me ‘gross’). I entered my time on the Excel spreadsheet where I track my runs only to find out that I had actually run the best mile I’ve ever run.
I think I’m learning that running never really gets easier because I push myself to run a little farther or a little faster without realizing it. So while it doesn’t feel like it’s getting easier, I do keep getting better at it. It’s kind of like a Catch-22, but it works in my favor? Once I hit my goal of running a mile under 15 minutes, maybe I’ll take it easy some days and just run long distances without worrying about my speed.