Monday, February 26, 2018

Jess Goes Running: Today

Today, I woke up with a plan.  The sun was shining (earlier than I expected) when I rolled out of bed, and I ate some cereal and drank some water.  The end of February is here, and with a 50 degree day in the forecast, I knew I had to take advantage of it.  I hopped in the car, went over and picked up my friend V, and we headed over to Montrose Harbor.

The last time we'd gone running there, it was cold and windy and icy, so icy that we couldn't even go out onto the curlicue part of the pier.  Today, however, the coast was clear.  It was sunny, crisp and fresh--and windy.  Very windy, as we'd come to find out during our second mile.  But it felt so good to be out there, running with the backdrop of a beautiful skyline on turquoise water.  I turned off the run/walk intervals on my watch, and V and I ran three miles with no walking breaks.  Probably one of my first of those since the 2017 Evanston Flying Turkey 5K for sure.  It was tough, but I did it!  And felt awesome.  I put in the work and I felt amazing afterwards.

When I got home from running (and then brunch at our favorite place, of course!) I kept my running clothes on... and a little bit later, I put my shoes back on and went out again.  I was initially planning on running three miles, another three straight miles without walking breaks... but then three miles turned to four.  I ran from the apartment, to the pier on Hollywood Beach, down along the breakwall to Foster Beach.  It was a breathtakingly beautiful afternoon, even if the wind was just as tough on this run as it was the first time.  At the end, I stood downstairs outside the apartment and caught my breath and just smiled.  I had done it.  Another four miles in the bank.

Today, I ran seven miles...  This is my highest mileage, combined or otherwise, since the marathon.   Wow!  It feels so good to be back here.  Today is the strongest that I have felt in a long time.  I had two fantastic outings today, two fulfilling and wonderful and fantastic runs.  Two opportunities to exist and breathe and feel my feet on the pavement in the most beautiful city in the world, my kind of town.  Man, I am so lucky.  I know that I need to be ever vigilant; I know injuries can happen anytime.  But I am feeling so strong, so confident, so certain, right now.  I am ready to see what the spring brings.  Winter has been long, and I haven't done as much running as I hoped, but... maybe in a way I needed the break.  Maybe now I'm coming back stronger than I thought possible.  I am so excited for whatever lies ahead.

"In running the mind flees with the body, the mysterious efflorescence of language seems to pulse in the brain, in rhythm with our feet and the swinging of our arms."  
-Joyce Carol Oates

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