The muscles are sore, but the head is clear

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Today’s run almost didn’t happen. When I got home from work, I had no intention of running even though it was part of my plan for the week. The legs were still sore from Monday’s 3.2 mile run, and I just didn’t have it in me. Or so I thought. As I took off my sport coat, I saw my running shorts lying where I leave them during the week (on the edge of the hamper), and then my eyes looked over to my running shoes. They were calling me. Without much thought, as I took of my trousers, I put my running shorts on. Then my running socks, t-shirt, and shoes. The next thing I know, I’m pulling up my running playlist on my iPhone, connected my bluetooth headset, and walked out the door.

Once outside, I figured I’d at least run two miles. I haven’t run less than three in months, but again, my legs were sore. As I started, I used a 4-4 breathing pattern: four steps for inhaling and then four to exhale. This kept my pace decent and I felt really good at the end of the first two miles. I decided to go ahead and continue on to complete three miles. After 1/4 mile into the third mile, I found myself oxygen starved, so I switched over to a 3-3 breathing pattern, and it was like a boost of energy. My body was getting more oxygen, and as a result, I was able to keep my pace up and I was able to finish the three miles without a hitch. Well, from a cardio standpoint, at least. My muscles are pretty pissed at me, and even my Garmin Fenix 3 watch is telling me that I have a 24 recovery time after this run (for the record, it told me to wait 51 hours before running again on Monday that I ignored by running 48 hours later. lol).

Now, my muscles are sore. Not bad pain, mind you, but sore. I brought my pace back down to a decent 9:25/mile average for the three miles which is close to the 9 minute/mile goal I typically have for myself. Sub-9’s are better, and sub-8’s are a long-term goal for me, but considering I haven’t run in two weeks and had only one slow run before this one, I’m very pleased. I feel like I accomplished something.

I look forward to being able to do push ups again before my runs some day. I had to skip them again because the pain in my left elbow persists.

The final thing I want to say about this run is that I now realize how much running helps clear my mind. I’ve been sort of a mess these past two weeks and couldn’t quite put my finger on why. Now I know. I need to run. I actually enjoy it, and it helps me clear my mind. For that reason alone, I will continue to run for as long as I can.

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