January 19, 2014

January 19

Total time: 21:27 minutes
Total distance: 1.39 miles

FIRST RUN OF 2014!! It's been an incredibly cold winter so far, what with the record-breaking polar vortex and just general normal winter-ness of cold + snow + ice + dark. It's been gloomy. There was one day back in late December that ended up being in the low 40s, and I was so mad that I didn't check the temperature before I showered and got ready for the day. I would have totally snuck in a run before scurrying up north for a belated Christmas celebration. I don't really know what my temperature threshold is for "warm enough to run" but probably upper 30s... back in May when we had our freak spring snow, I think it was somewhere just slightly above freezing and I went for it anyway, and it was fine. Depends on how cold the air is, I guess. It can be too cold for your lungs and it would just be a pile of suck. I've been keeping an eye on the weather when I have daylight to spare, and it's been pretty discouraging.

Fortunately, I got my chance with an unseasonably warm January day! The temp on my phone said 45 when I left my apartment, and when I was done it was all the way up to 50. Given how long it had been since I've run (I've been a lazy bum and have not located a treadmill to borrow and I do not want to pay for a gym membership because I am intimidated by gyms), I decided I'd walk to the park, then walk my normal route, then run it. Plenty of warm-up to get my legs used to moving, with the added bonus of scouting out my trail to see what condition it was in. Snow, I learned, wasn't a problem, as long as I was careful... but I was worried about lingering ice. Slipping and falling and hurting myself was not high on my list of objectives. I texted the BF to see if he wanted to join me and he met up with me at the park right about the time that I decided I'd run my alternate route around the baseball field. He talked me into running the complete opposite way - the trail that he likes to run - since it was less wind-exposed and there had been other people running on it. I mentally followed it and decided that it would probably be about the right distance - I was hoping to do at least 10 minutes, and judge it from there. So off we went, spending a fair amount of time skirting around puddles and mini-lakes and mud, but with a mostly-clear trail. It felt so good to be outside with sunshine and warmth and just moving again. Heavenly.

I had no idea where I'd be starting from. If I could feel a difference when I took two weeks off in late November, who knows how much I might have lost over the last month and a half. I remember, also, how tentatively I'd started last spring, too. So I wasn't expecting a lot, but I took off at a steady jog.

It was slow. So slow. Probably the slowest I've ever gone. But I reached ten minutes easily enough and decided I'd go for fifteen - get my mile in! More than I'd even dared to hope for. The last five minutes were a little rougher than any of the ten that had proceeded them, and I was ready to quit when I hit my mark. I even stopped my UP band and slowed to a walk for about all of three steps when the BF shook his head at me and nudged me forward. So I restarted my band and kept trudging along, and we went another five or so until we reached my house. It was a rough five minutes, let me tell you. But I bit my tongue and held back my complaints, because I wanted to push myself, and it would be silly to argue against a little extra hard work.

Twenty-one minutes, guys. TWENTY ONE MINUTES, first time out. About twice as long as I was shooting for. I was incredibly pleased. Granted, I was plodding along at about a 15/16-minute mile pace, so I've definitely got some work to do on finding my old 12-ish minute mile pace again, but it was exactly the kick-start I needed. I am so antsy to get back out there, or find a treadmill, anything. Of course, it's supposed to be cold and crappy right away again, but I'd say the year's off to a great start!

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