Friday, March 18, 2011

It's just spring, silly! Or, learning to measure my enthusiasm

So today was the first day in months that I actually ran in my cropped pants, tank top and running sleeves. After a grey morning with heavy winds and rain, the weather changed so completely and abruptly as it can only do in Halifax. Suddenly the sun was shining, the breeze was light, and it was 9 degrees...

After a productive day at work, I decided there was just no way I could pass up a run in such glorious weather. So I pulled on my running gear, laced up my shoes, synched my Garmin to GPS, and headed out for an easy 10k run as per my schedule.

Or so I thought.

No sooner did I pop my earphones in and head out on the sidewalk, that I started pumping my legs. Although the schedule only called for about a 6:20 pace for today's run, I started pushing it. Soon, I was doing 5:45, then 5:35, and suddenly...5:20.

I felt great. I felt like a running goddess. I probably didn't look like one, but for the first time in months, I felt like I was floating on air. Rihanna's "Only girl in the world" was pulsing through my iPod, and I started belting it out (thankfully no one was around because I'm pretty sure that I was not remotely in pitch...but then again, I'm not auditioning for American Idol).

I coasted down Oxford, past University, watching my step on the cracked sidewalk -- last week I tripped in front of a whole bunch of cars at Dutch Village Road and I didn't want to repeat it.

Then, the pain began in my left shin and calves. "It's just pain, not muscle fatigue," I thought to myself. But -- I had another 6.5 k to go.

So I decided to use this as a teachable moment -- to use it as a reminder not to go too fast out of the gates, while at the same time being able to push through the pain and discomfort for the long haul.

I slowed down for a bit, heading down Point Pleasant Drive and then South Park, and letting my legs rest up a bit. But as soon as I turned onto North a few kms later, I picked it up again -- I only had a few more kms to go, so suddenly the energy bank was full again!

Lesson learned: sure, spring is around the corner (though I haven't packed away the snow shovel yet) but that doesn't mean I should burn all my fuel in the first few kms of a run. A lesson I'm going to need to bear in mind once I'm standing at the starting line of the Good Life Marathon in a couple of months!

Still - I love spring time! Woo!


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