Heading out for my first run after we got back from a trip that featured too few miles and WAY too much feasting, I felt like I was carrying a passenger: the Blerch from the Oatmeal.
I swear I could feel the earth shake with every step.
Luckily I’d also made sure to activate my inner parent for this run. Her mission: To offer up constant, gentle reminders that no matter how many pounds I might’ve packed on in the last few days (I was afraid to step on the scale), it was still only a week since my last long run and there was no reason I couldn’t jog 7 miles at an easy pace.
Without walking. That seemed important. Even though I’ve sometimes used a run/walk formula that works out favorably for speed purposes, walking on this run, I knew, would destroy my morale.
It was early and still relatively cool. After a while I started to feel more comfortable, and I discovered that if I sped up, even for a short burst, I could leave the Blerch behind.
There was some yowling involved. “If you go too fast,” the blubbery blob shrieked as I moved off down the road, “you won’t be able to make it the whole way!”
“That’s a load of crap!” whispered another voice in my head. “If you run faster when you feel good, then you’ll make more headway. And when you start to struggle, then you just slow down to recover for a little bit.”
I wasn’t sure where this voice was coming from, but I liked its fierce determination. My Inner Kenyan? I read somewhere once that in Kenya, runners go fast when they feel good and slow up when they don’t. (Seems ridiculous to suggest that an entire nation of runners would all employ the same style, but this image was working for me just then, so I went with it.)
And it seemed to work. I spent less time agonizing about how far I had to go and how long it was going to take me, and more time in a (perhaps misguided) zone of positivity.
It wasn’t a great run, nor a fast one, but I’m awfully glad to have left the Blerch in the dust.