Last night, I went to bed and felt a little bit anxious about this morning’s planned #rundate with my sis, but as I wrote earlier this week, my goal is to do at least one (if not two!) outdoor runs this week and next. Then I tossed and turned and dreamed about this run, and in it, it was snowing, it was cold, it was windy, and I was scared. Obviously, this did not make me feel any better about getting up, bundling up, and running outside this morning. But after a brief text back-and-forth with Jess, we decided to go for it (Jess, to her credit, wanted ME to decide, and while I was thisclose to shelving the idea, M also encouraged me to go, and then I realized I really did *not* want to dreadmill it today after yesterday’s kick-ass intervals!).
And this, my friends, is the anatomy of a good (outdoor!) run. 🙂 (hopefully this isn’t utterly boring or too dorky, and even if it is, that’s okay, I just want to cherish this run!)
We set out around 7:15 and it was about 38 degrees or so. Not too bad, and no wind *phew*
I was excited to show Jess one of the routes M and I ran late-summer/early-fall when we moved, as it is one of the prettiest, nice flat (keyword: flat! for the most part) roads, huge houses, sprawling yards, and chose a 5 mile route for us. I piled on my new winter running gear, complete with my new I ❤ Sweat long-sleeved t-shirt, courtesy of Ali on the Run (YAY!), turtleneck top and warm running pants (seriously felt like I looked like a marshmallow however, all padded and puffy hehe) and Under Armour headband.
The first mile or so was pretty chilly, but we of course started warming up. I was actually warmer than Jess, I think, as she noticed the chill more than me (yay me! lol) at first. We approached one of the ‘rolling hills’ (really not that big but these types of hills are almost harder for me than big hills for some reason) and usually, I am tempted to stop and walk, but I didn’t, I didn’t even want to or feel the need to, and I was hopeful that this would continue the rest of our run.
And that it did. We ran, we paced each other, we talked, I told her stories about what M and I would talk about on our runs, showing each other the houses we loved most on these streets and would love to buy (but yeah, probably need a million bucks, and that, my friends, we do not have. Shocker, I know. LOL). And the run just went. I kind of forgot I was running. And that NEVER happens. EVER.
We rounded the corner and hit the second of the ‘rolling hills’ that I usually do actually walk part of, because it’s at that point that my lungs start to burn. But I didn’t want to stop, because a) I knew Jess would be mad at me (LOL) and b) I knew I could do it, because by the time I was at the spot I usually stop, I was still running. (yay me! LOL)
The last 1.5 miles or so goes down a side road that I joke is one of the longest side roads ever (seriously, I always think of side roads as short, but the two we ran on in this route are 2.5 and 1.5 miles, respectively. Those aren’t side roads to me. Is that weird that I think that?!). It also has a small ‘rolling hill’ and that too we kept pace at and I never walked. Or wanted to. AGAIN. It was honestly the weirdest feeling. Because this truly never happens.
But I was trusting myself. I felt calm. I felt good running next to my sis, since we don’t get to run together as often as we’d like. It felt like a much-needed run together for us, I felt like it was a bonding moment. Because she was experiencing one of the best outdoor runs I have probably ever had.
And she kept totally mum about it until we finished the route. And then she remarked at how good that run was for me. And until she said that, I honestly didn’t think too much of it. Until she started ticking things off that ‘worked.’ My breathing. Probably the best I’ve had. Ever. AND in cold weather? Seriously?? My pace. Faster. I kept up with her better (even if she may have run a little slower than her normal). We talked! I TALKED. I never talk. I may laugh or nod or say ‘yeah’ here and there, but she usually talks and I listen. Because I am always too out of breathe or too focused on making sure I don’t get out of breathe, that I don’t talk.
And then she made me do a farklet. Bully.
Honestly. I have never felt better about a run than this one…in these conditions, I thought I would struggle. It was challenging but it was not a struggle. This run-challenge may be the best idea ever, and the best thing I could do for myself to gain the confidence I’ve lacked, the endurance I crave, and the ability I have felt I have struggled with. Today, was a success. And I couldn’t be happier. (thank you sis!!!)
Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee <—severe run high!!