Today is my first day off of work after a three-day stretch (and a rather challenging three-day stretch, if I do say so myself), also known as it’s-time-to-haul-your-ass-back-to-the-gym. Or, if you prefer, TUESDAY. The thought, this Tuesday, of climbing on to that treadmill and listening to little chimes tell me when to run and when to walk made me, quite honestly, want to crawl back into bed and huddle under the covers with the dog and watch whatever was on my DVR (although the fact that most shows are in reruns until January means that my DVR doesn’t have much to offer). I knew I wanted to do SOMETHING because not doing something today would lead to not doing something tomorrow, and before I knew it, months would have gone by, and any physical activity I had been engaging in would have been replaced with something like baking. And that is a lose-lose situation right there.
I have been toying with the idea of trying to take my running outside. As an aside, I still feel a little funny calling it running when it is mostly walking and the running is pretty slow. However, thousands of pins on Pinterest can’t be wrong, right? So running it is. In my township, we have a rudimentary municipal park that consists of a mile-long gravel path surrounding what used to be a bunch of corn fields, along with a pavilion (which is nowhere near the parking lot, oddly enough) and a small playground structure (which is right next to the parking lot, in case you were wondering, and WHERE IS THIS GOING?). I believe they have bigger plans for this park someday, but our township is still in the growing stages, so that’s all they have gotten done so far. It’s a moderately pretty area, in that it is surrounded by trees and some nice old farm land and farm houses, and there is a stream to one side, and one time I saw a turtle making a nest just up from the stream. So I am a fan of all that nature. I hadn’t been to the park in a while, so I thought maybe I would go there and see what kind of running I could do.
It’s been drizzling on and off today, so I decided to check out my Local Forecast on the 8s, and while it was raining above and below us on the map, it looked like I had a little window in which to hit the trail. I laced up my shoes and set out. When I got there, there was no one there, which was PERFECT because if this was not going to go well, I didn’t want an audience. I walked a little ways, and then I decided to pick up the pace to what felt like my usual 5 MPH pace. Not long after I started running, I passed the 1/8 mile marker. I was not using my interval counter, so I decided I would just run until I thought I might die, and then I would start to walk. I had forgotten that the course is not completely flat, but I was okay with the little bit of uphill trail, and when I hit a downhill, it was FABULOUS. I passed the 3/8 mile mark and thought, “WOW! I ran a quarter mile!” I went a bit further, hit an even better downhill, and then starting wondering where the 5/8 of a mile marker was. If I could get to the 5/8 of a mile marker, I would have run a half mile. I haven’t run a half mile, especially a half mile that did not occur on a treadmill, in quite a while. I started to feel like my lungs were seeking to jump ship and abandon my body, but I knew that the 5/8 of a mile marker had to be coming up soon, so I had to keep going. FINALLY! It was almost like crossing a finish line. It felt amazing.
I walked back to my car, completing the mile long loop…and the skies opened up. I had pondered walking an additional mile, but the fact that I was carrying my iPhone and it was pouring made me change that plan. But I did it! I ran a half mile!
I bet this is the longest recap of a half-mile run EVER. I can’t wait to have longer distances to share.