Yesterday (Sunday) I was a few minutes into my run when this song came onto my ipod.
I'm a big proponent of music for inspiration, and in my case that means any song with a catchy tune and a title or lyric that speaks to me. So I don't consider it a small thing that "Good to Be Back" came on just as I'm starting my first real run since the snow and ice has melted away, and my first long run (more than six or so miles) since the Vegas Half Marathon almost a month ago.
Now, by "back" of course I just mean running, not running fast, or well, or easily. My legs were, in fact, just a little looser than lead, and I couldn't believe that the entire trip down to the marina (see picture in previous post) was less than three miles. (Well, actually I knew that, it just seemed like much further.) Luckily, the rest of the miles seemed shorter (you didn't know that the further along in a run you go, the shorter the miles become?), and once I passed about the six-mile mark the half-miles were clicking away just like that.
My only distance goal was to do at least eight miles by the time I got to Starbucks, and luckily for me, I actually hit 8.88 miles when I stopped there. (Actually it was 8.87 so I jogged a few more feet to bump it up.) With the walk home my total was just under 9.4. I was happy with the distance and choosing not to think about the pace.
Even though I do have speed goals for the year, I am determined not to be discouraged by slow runs. I often think back to a quote from one of my running journals, basically that you can't run too slow, but you can run too fast.
And while running slow might not make for new PR's, I try to keep in mind that speed and PR's are not the only reason I run. If they were, I might as well just quit right now. Which I don't plan to. I am fully aware, and remind myself regularly, that running slowly burns as many calories per mile as running fast does. And although I have heard and read that exercising just to lose or maintain weight is not a good reason, I don't necessarily agree with that. I mean really, if running did not help keep me somewhat thin, would I still keep doing it? I like running, but there's lots of other things I like doing too. For example, reading, watching TV, napping. If running was only as effective as those pursuits at burning calories, which do you think I would choose? Weight maintenance (if not loss) and fitness are the little extras which keep me running, even when the weather or tired legs would make me rather stop.
So I was out there yesterday piling on the miles, and I was out there this morning for another six (running on an inch or two of new snow from last night). I'm back. And it is good.