Whenever I am called to open the library I get to slip home by 3:30pm. Truth be known, it’s a luxury I have every Thursday but rare on any other day. So, when I was called to open yesterday it was like I had been given a special hall pass. Freedom by 3pm! All day long I had one thing on my mind. Going home early to run. Could I? Should I? The sun was shining. The hip, quad, knee, groin, you name it, felt good. Really good. Off and on throughout the day it was a game of Should I? Shouldn’t I? Mother May I? Like a game of ping pong the thoughts bounced back and forth. Am I ready? Do I dare? Am I being wussy by waiting? Am I being smart to avoid injury? I had St. Pat’s in my head. I need to start training for the hills and yet I wouldn’t be doing myself any favors if I injured myself any further. I must confess, there was a part of me that worried I was worrying way too much. Yet, there was another part of me that was fearing the fear. The fear of pain, failure and of snot. I’m still coughing and whatnot. All of me was thinking there was a possibility I could be rushing this and for what? I should be holding out for Alton. This was the deciding factor: None of me wanted to sit back and just not try. What could it hurt to try? I promised myself at the first sign of pain I could always bail. The braver (reckless) side of me won out and within 10 minutes of getting home I was ready to revisit the tread.
The old me would have started the run at a 5 mph pace. I would have thought a 12 minute mile would be the perfect pace to start, especially coming off an injury. If Kisa had been in the room, and thank fate he was not, he would have completely agreed. Getting him out of my head, my resolve was this (maybe stupidly): act like this is no big deal. Forget that you haven’t run in forever. Get on that machine as if it were any other day. Just get up and go. Just do it. So, I did, blowing my nose the entire time. 5.5 mph to warm up; 6 mph zone run; and an hour of yoga as cool down. 4.2 miles in the books. Tissues littered the floor on both sides of the tread but the good news is I don’t have pain anywhere. To celebrate I gave myself a salt soak and allowed myself to think one thing: the run found me.