All my outside running thus far has been a continuation of laps, whether at Council Point Park or at Trenton's Elizabeth Park. Yesterday, however, was scheduled for five miles and I didn't want to do that many laps, so I went to Mom's house where I know the street route for that distance. After hours of procrastinating and grazing on candy, I finally hooked my can of mace on my waistband, turned the iPod to a moderately low volume and headed out. I felt like I was going impossibly slow - it felt like I could have walked at the same speed, yet by the time I made it back to her house, I had averaged 10:10 over five miles, which is just about what I hit at the Y when I run there. It was even a little faster than I've done a few times, not to mention I had to stop for a few traffic lights and didn't bother to pause the stopwatch for those few seconds.
I won't lie and say it was fun, but I'll admit there's a certain sense of accomplishment in running 52 minutes without keeling over. When I was in college I went to church with a girl who was training for a marathon. One day she was so excited about running 18 miles in 3 hours. I didn't understand her excitement - I could come up with hundreds of other things I'd rather do with three hours, but perhaps I'm beginning to understand it. There's a definite sense of empowerment in pushing your body beyond what your mind said was possible.
Lisa, I hope you found your inspiration on Friday! Here's an ad slogan you might like: (Sound mind) x (sound body) x total physical exhaustion = ALIVE!