Self-portrait in shadow.
I should have taken a picture while I was running at lunch, but I was too busy enjoying the sunshine. It was a little windy still, with patchy snow nestled up against the base of the trees and tufts of grass, but it was a brilliant day and the noon warmth kept me from getting too chilled. I think I pushed a little too hard, too fast — my knees are a touch sore and my calves are tight. But it was worth it getting out of the office and out of the house for a time. In the 2 miles I was out, I passed 4 other runners, which shows how much everyone was ready to get out and go after all the rain and snow.
I’ve signed up for a 10K training program with an eye towards running a very popular local race on Memorial Day weekend. It’s a 16 week plan that starts in February, so until then I’m going to run some of the training runs from my 5K plan this fall. I’ve taken too much time off during the last month and I’ve lost a lot of my endurance. I want to stretch some took and work on my flexibility – I was having trouble with my calves when I was running last fall. I talked to one of my friends (who is a capital-R Runner), and she said the race I’m thinking about is loads of fun. It had over 2000 people enter last year, so I would have lots of company even though I don’t expect to be very fast. 10K just sounds like it’s so far – I’m intimidated by the idea.
I’m still not accustomed to thinking of myself as a runner. I was an athlete in high school, and I ran as part of my sport, but I wasn’t a runner per se. I really didn’t enjoy running – it was just part of what I had to do to play the sport I loved. Going out now, just to run and nothing else, is taking a shift in my self-perception. When I went out today, I didn’t have any intervals set. I knew that the path I was running was right at 2 miles, so I just went at my own pace to see what I felt comfortable doing. The first part of this trail is uphill and my legs were burning, but once I got past that I felt good. I did the 2 miles in four running intervals and the last two were over 5 minutes. My overall pace was 14:30ish per mile, which is slow, but not too far off from where I had gotten up to last November. My goal for this year is to be able to run a sub-30 minute 5K pace, so I have a ways to go.