Slow Enough

The day started gloomy enough. Cold. Harsh. I set out with my friend who was running a morning 5K as part of her training for a 10K in two months. I got out to test my new watch (a Garmin 235), and to make sure after this weekend’s long run of 18 miles I’d hit 30 for the week.

The nice part about having built some fitness over the past 3-ish years is that today was easy. Like, not to be all scientific, but my heart rate was low. I was just jogging, shuffling along, but it was enough to keep me warm, and to get me close to the creeks, and their noisy splashing.

Moving fast enough to keep myself warm, but slow enough to notice a chipmunk deep in the woods.

Running doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t have to be a struggle. You’re allowed to go slow, to shuffle along. There’s no rule saying you have to enter a 5K, or wear a neon green tank top.

Yep, the speed training I do can hurt. Run for nine minutes at a fast pace, then rest for a minute. Then do that three more times. Ouch.

This Sunday the plan is to run 18 miles. That won’t be entirely comfortable.

But getting out of comfort zones often enough gets us to a place where we can find comfort. The pain isn’t gone, we just learn to live with it.