I ran yesterday morning for the first time in a little over 2 1/2 weeks. It went pretty well, all things considered. One of the coolest things? When we got to the park, we found that there had just been a small wedding. It was kind of neat to see the bride and groom saying bye to their guests and having their picture taken. It was a small wedding, and I questioned why one would decide to get married at 7am... but still neat to come across at the start of the run.
While running, I thought of a few pieces of advice that I thought may be helpful at some point to fellow runners.
If you haven't gone for a run in a few weeks, don't worry too much about the first one back on the path. You probably haven't lost much. But still... be sensible in what you do. I opted for a 6-mile hilly loop to get ready for the hills of the race I'm running next week.
If you're running up a hill that is about a 1/2 mile long and you find you're unbelievably out of breath, then stop and walk. Catch your breath. Start running again.
Feel free to tell your running partner to go on without you, especially if you don't mind running a few miles alone.
Don't listen to the voice in your head that says your crazy for running 6 miles of hills... after a 2 1/2 week hiatus... and when your head is so congested you can't breathe well even when you're not running.
Crank up the volume on some of the terrific tunes on your ipod and keep running.
When it starts to rain a bit, pause the ipod. Listen to it as it hits the trees above you. Listen to the birds chatting away with one another. Be thankful that the trees keep it from pouring on you, but that they do allow some mist to get through and cool you off.
Pretend your water bottle is a baton and you're the star runner on a track relay team (you'll forget the way you feel that last hill in your thighs).
Slow down when you're going downhill, especially if the path is wet. Marvel in the fact that it's difficult to make yourself slow down.
Smile and wave as you pass walkers. Be proud of them for getting out there and being active. Secretly be proud of yourself that you've somewhere changed from a walker to a runner.
Go home and hit the showers, and then maybe climb back into bed. It won't cause you to wake up feeling less congested, but the extra hour or so of sleep will do you good before you head out for your Saturday afternoon.
Later that day, admit that you probably were insane to go fo a run when you feel so yucky and congested, but then realize that you really are a runner... because nothing keeps you from getting out there and doing your thing.