I know, I know, I've been missing forever. I'm not going to explain why (I actually have no good reason at all), I'm just going to jump right in to what I have to say today.
I had a breakthrough today. I finally understand that my body is not weak; my body is strong and capable, but my mind is weak. I let my mind make excuses to say that I can't do things that I physically am very capable of doing. I need to work on ignoring the "can't", "won't" and "don't want to" impulses of my brain, and just do it (insert Nike swoosh here).
I haven't been running. For ages. Probably a whole month, I'm not sure. I have been doing other stuff, and there has been some running in my "other stuff" - like when I go up Mt Lofty, I run the flat bits at the bottom, and I run the whole way down. But I haven't been doing any dedicated running sessions at all. I've been through periods like this before, and the longer I leave it the harder it is to convince myself to get back out there. And usually the first session back hurts like hell... hence the putting it off.
Anyway, today I finally hardened the hell up, and hit the streets. The Garmin cracked the shits on me (well the battery died, but that's the same thing really), but it was possibly the best thing that could have happened. I still wore my Polar, but I used it for heart rate not time, and I ran just for the pure joy of it. I know I sound like a knob, but I actually did really enjoy it. I used the Polar to make myself stay in my target HR zone of 150-160, and took the focus off splits per km and all the other numbers stuff that I obsess so much over. As it turns out, all the "other stuff" I've been doing has been keeping my fitness level up to a reasonable level, and I was pretty comfortable running along, despite the long hiatus. I felt some pain in my legs from time to time, but that was a good reminder to concentrate on my form, stop heal striking, keep the legs in alignment, that kind of thing. I'm sure my legs will be a little sore later from my first return to running, but on the whole I was stoked.
I toyed with the idea of not mapping the run at all, and letting it just "be", but I decided I needed to know the distance to post it up to our lovely Operation Fit Body group on Facebook. It mapped out to 5.13km, which I did in 31:15 - this works out to 6:05 mins/km or 9.8km/hour, and it's a faster pace than I had been doing when I was obsessing on the Garmin numbers and killing my running mojo. Go figure. So I'm living in smug town today, and also living in hope that I can overcome the mind battles of not wanting to get out of bed, and not wanting to run, and getting back into the habit of just getting out there again regularly. Stay tuned.