I wanted to get out and stretch my legs on Thursday, take advantage of the great weather and make good on my quest to run more outdoors and I did just that. But I also wanted to set the bar a bit higher than I had in '08.
The only problem was that I didn't realize the latter until I was already on my run.
In '08, I ran quite a bit outdoors, but most of it was in the spring and early summer, and most of those runs were four miles or less. This year, I've got two half marathons in my future so outdoor runs will be a necessity.
I figured running a three- or four-mile run would be okay but whenever I'd look back on the start of the year I'd remember a relatively short run. So I wanted to run a bit longer to have a bit of a higher starting base. Now, five miles isn't exactly a super-long run, but it's a formidable run nonetheless.
But when I walked out the door - and even when I set out on my run - I didn't realize that I'd be running a five-mile run. It wasn't until I started thinking about the first run of the new year and how it was officially welcoming in this year in terms of running did I feel that a five-mile run was necessary. Instead of zigging, I zagged and headed in the opposite direction I'd intended on running. Before long I was out on the open road, running a route I'd done only three times before.
It was enjoyable though, even if I hadn't mentally prepared for a run longer than four miles. It felt good to stretch my legs, felt good to get some time alone, to ponder the year in running and all the outdoor runs that await in '09. I completed the run in 47:19 and averaged a heart rate of 172 with a max of 184. Ultimately, it was an excellent run as it set up the year's runs very well.
Now when I look back at the start of the year, I'll have a pleasant five-mile memory to fall back on.