I went for a run again today.
It’s slow going after all the time off because of my plantar fascia issues.
I remember what it felt like to run a half marathon at 10 minute miles. It’s mentally surprising to find myself struggling to keep a 3 mile run under 12 minute pace.
So I don’t look at my watch.
I remember that my experience and effort can be the same, even if my results aren’t.
I can still go down to the beach and run for 40 minutes. Even if it’s a slow jog (and we can blame the sand) when I look down at myself in my running gear I feel like myself again.
It can be hard to struggle with the memory of being faster and having more endurance. In some ways, it’s harder than starting to become active the first time when every step was an improvement, most runs a PR.
But if we can remember how good it feels to be outside, or to come back from a run, or to stop after an interval with our hearts pounding… well those are things we can experience at a slower pace, even after a break.
I can no longer run 10 miles at the break of dawn, but I can enjoy running, and it makes me feel like me again.