August was approaching and I thought, why not start this month with a contract with yourself to renew your love of running and to commit to daily exercise. It sounded good in my head, so I agreed with my thoughts. It would at least give me a chance to get out of the sporadic exercise routine I had fallen into over the last year. I went from running or some form of daily exercise to a couple days a week. This fall off had affected my health and my mental being. My cholesterol was up in January and I really did not want it to worsen or any other health issues popping up. I had been looking at my mushy arms for months and was longing to get some lost muscle back into my body. I figured since I have always enjoyed running and being outside that this would be the way to get to a better place physically and mentally.
I went for it, 5 miles that is. August 1st rolled up quickly. It was on a Saturday and I set out to do a 5mile run. It was mid-morning by the time I laced up my shoes and pulled on my mask. By this time the number of cyclists and other pedestrians out on the trail had grown to a moderate number, but I was up for the challenge of maneuvering the path and any obstacles.
As my feet hit the ground and bounced up again, I tried to think light and push off my toes without planting my weight into the ground. I think I was over focused. I worked to power through my moment of feeling tired and wanting to stop and lie down right on the path. My lungs did not quickly agree with my new actions, but I ignored the pain and pushed through. Eventually my breathing improved even with the impairment of the mask I was sporting, and the tired feeling left. I had made it over the beginners’ hump and after a fair amount of wind, sun and sweat I was breezing through my run.
Some time passed and I caught myself smiling and daydreaming (enough to nearly smash into another runner) as I approached the stop lights right off the trial. I realized I was a few steps from reaching my 5-mile mark and my home. A feeling came over me that made me believe I could actually do this for 30 days and maybe even something more difficult. Those thoughts were tested immediately after the pain set in the following morning.