Run now, sleep later

I awoke this morning already sweating.

Sacramento is experiencing a heat wave that we usually don’t get in June.

Multiple days of over 105 degrees, and no relief in sight.

It’s summer vacation – I should really be sleeping in.

Most people would have looked at the clock,

which read 6:56, and rolled back over and forced themselves back to sleep.

Me, on the other hand, decided that I’d much rather sweat while running

than sweat as I unsuccessfully attempt to go back to sleep.

(For my adorable little apartment does not have central AC.)

Though this early morning run was far from cool,

it was, in my opinion, the best way to start this day.

Since returning to running from an injury,

I haven’t quite gotten that feeling yet that I’m back where I used to be.

There was a time that I was approaching 9:15 minute miles

and was close to making that my norm for my training runs.

I was on the edge of breaking a 2 hour half marathon

and 3 miles was a joke of an easy run.

But now, my pace has slowed to a respectable 10:15-10:30 mile

but 3 and 4 miles are definitely challenges at times.

However, today was the first day that I ever felt like I could return to the runner I once was.

My knees did not ache, my pace was up, and I never felt tired.

I’m not sure if it was the haze of the heat or if my mind was just in the right place,

but this morning was one of the best runs I’ve had in a very long time –

to the point that I said a little prayer of thanksgiving when it was over.

Thank you for this run.

This run makes me feel clarity, feel strength, feel peace.

I feel ready for this day!

So cheers to feeling like the runner I once was,

and hopefully the runner I’ll always be.

Strong. Healthy. Free.

And now I will retreat to my couch,

where I can feel the cool breeze from the wall AC unit

and return to slumber.

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Be tough. Be strong.

This evening’s run was not one of my favorites,

but it was definitely a good one.

I only ran 3 miles and did intervals of 4 minutes running, 1 minute walking.

It was hot, my lips were mostly chapped,

and my pre-run half a bagel was probably not the best snack choice.

Due to the weather, there wasn’t much people watching today either.

Most of the time, when the beeps sounded for my walks,

I was thankful.

But I promise, it was a good run.

Starting from scratch isn’t always fun,

but today I was reminded how much running disciplines me.

It toughens the mind and makes the heart feel strong.

On runs like today, when I am mostly coaching myself to keep going,

it is the end of the run that is the most satisfying.

As my stomach ached and I licked my chapped lips,

my mantra became “Be strong. Be tough.”

For I could remember days long ago when I was just a running newbie,

and may have given in to the negatives surrounding this run.

These are the runs that train me so I can have the best runs.

The hard work of today will pay off tomorrow.

This evening’s run was not one of my favorites,

but it was definitely a good one.

All I wanna do..

Lately my motivation for the day

is that I have an afternoon run waiting for me.

Most people would read this and think

that maybe I’m stressed out or that life has been a little hard lately.

But it’s really not that.

It’s more that I’ve missed running so much, and I’m finally able to run again,

that it’s really all I want to do.

And when I’m not running, its on my mind most of the time.

I feel like a seventh grade girl who can’t stop thinking about her crush.

When I wake up in the morning and realize it’s a running day

there is an instant buzz inside me.  An anticipation.

Though it’s frustrating knowing the run distance is minuscule

compared to my runs of the past,

I’m just happy to be out there.

I thrive on the feeling I get when a workout is complete

and I wholeheartedly believe in the “Runners High.”

There’s nothing like it.

Running clears my head, brings positivity in my heart

and makes me feel like a champ.

There’s nothing I’d rather do.

My next scheduled running day won’t be for a few days.

After all, I am trying my best to ‘take it easy.’

(Easier said than done.)

But maybe this slow and steady start

has allowed me to appreciate my sport, and cherish it, that much more.