I worked yesterday, Memorial Day, taking care of several hundred rodents. I had planned on getting in a run when I was finished, but after working nine straight hours without a rest or any meals, I didn’t have it in me. I grilled some steaks to go with the rest of the meal Sue had prepared, then crawled into my recliner, done for the day!
Today, I told myself I would get in a run no matter what. As it turned out, with the exception of stopping for lunch, I was just as busy as yesterday, and after being on my feet all day, I was relatively sure I wouldn’t make it very far if I decided to go running. I washed the dust and dander off my face, then plopped down on the bed, wanting a few minutes to rest before I started making dinner.
I thought back to two weeks ago, when I was just as busy at work, and only managed to get in one run, on Saturday. I didn’t want a repeat of that disappointing week, but was simply too tired to move. I bargained with myself: If I made up extra mileage tomorrow and Thursday, I could skip tonight and the week still wouldn’t be so bad. At last I reasoned that a run, any distance, would be better than nothing, and I had to at least try. I pulled on my running gear, and with no enthusiasm at all, headed out the door.
As I headed down the alley, my legs and feet felt kind of numb. I was barely jogging. I struggled with each step, wondering what I was really doing. I was going to turn around after a block, but thought I would look pretty stupid heading back in the door after only 2 minutes, so pride propelled me forward for at least a few more blocks.
I struggled to maintain even a recovery pace as I headed for the Greenway. It was a pleasant evening, and seeing people laughing and talking while they passed by seemed to just emphasize how miserable I felt. Usually, when I hit the Greenway, I feel a spurt of energy, and I tend to pick up the pace. Tonight I just felt blah, my body thoroughly spent, and my head fuzzy with the cobwebs of an overwhelming day.
Boston’s “Feelin’ Satisfied” came up on my playlist towards the end of the first mile, and I began to feel like I could possibly complete this run. Foreigner’s “Feels Like the First Time” came on next, and I had to admit that I was feeling better than the first time I went running several years ago. I was feeling OK.
Europe’s “Final Countdown” came up next, and as usual, it caused me to pick up the pace. I somehow had enough energy to speed up during a couple of little hills, and wondered where that had come from. I was feeling pretty good, kind of like I normally do when I run.
Pat Benatar’s “Fire and Ice” and Cheap Trick’s “The Flame” got me well into the final mile, and I was feeling more than pretty good; I felt awesome! The wind and sun on my face, the music in my ears, and the focus of putting one foot in front of the other, over and over again as smoothly as possible, cleared the cobwebs from my head and the fatigue from my muscles and made me feel incredibly alive.
As I neared my exit from the Greenway, Irene Cara’s “What a Feeling” came up next on my i-pod. The spurt of energy I normally feel when I enter the Greenway finally shot through me tonight like electricity as I left the Greenway. I was on fire! I picked up the pace to 7:00 for the final four blocks to my house, and could have gone on forever, or at least until the song was over!
I’m sitting here now wondering what happened tonight. I came home from work physically and mentally spent. I had nothing left! I went out and ran 4 miles in 36 minutes; not a strenuous workout, but a decent effort nonetheless and somehow ended up with more energy than I started with. My cobwebs are gone. My legs feel tired, but better than they did when I walked out of work. I was grumpy and negative, but am now cheerful and positive.