I tightened up my laces and flipped on my shuffle. "Here goes nothing" I thought. I hadn't been feeling very good at all when I got up this morning and almost decided to skip this run. But, I had a plan to follow. I didn't have to be out for long, I just had to be out.
I walked down the steps and started moving forward, anticipating some kind of pain. Nothing. "So far so good." I ran down the road, Sam Roberts singing in time to my footfalls. I settled into a rhythm. Arms relaxed, swinging low and straight. This had finally become automatic. All the other nuances of good form were still a work in progress.
When I start my run, it has become habit for me to do a "body scan". How are my feet landing? What is my breathing like? Am I relaxed? Are my glutes firing? I think about all of these things once I get into a rhythm and make corrections as needed. This is why my runs are short. I need to focus on form until my body becomes used to these new muscles working and it all becomes automatic. That and I'm breaking in new orthotics.
I could tell from the first few minutes this run wasn't going to be like my others as of late. Something just felt different. It felt effortless. I was almost immediately in the zone. I can't remember the last time I felt like that on a run. I could feel my glutes firing, my cadence was high and my body position seemed just right. I felt like I was flowing. I glanced down at my Garmin to see a sub 5:00/min km and a low heart rate. Amazing.
I continued on and lost myself in the rhythm of my breathing, feeling like I could go on forever. Feeling like my old self. I allowed myself to think about racing again. My mind drifted off into planning mode only to be snapped back to reality by the honk of a horn. I glanced up to see G sitting in the car on the opposite side of the road. And just like that, my run was done. As much as I wanted to go longer, I have to remember to be smart.
Even thought it was short, yesterday's run gave me hope that things really are moving in the right direction. I'm allowing myself to be cautiously optimistic. maybe even hopeful that things will be back to normal soon.