I had to work the last three days, so I've been away from the gym.
I'm an ICU nurse, and that means working 12 hour shifts. I know that everyone struggles with the same issue of trying to fit their runs into their busy lives; it's probably one the top "excuses" out there. But for me, running after work means making a conscious choice to not see my children that day. I leave before they get up, and if I run, they are in bed by the time I get home--especially as we taper summer bedtimes down in preparation for school coming up.
For my first 2 work days this week, I chose to come home. On my 3rd day though, I chose the gym since I'll be spending the rest of the week with the kids.
But I will tell you, throughout all three days I found myself looking forward to my run. In fact, I lusted after it. I noticed I was crabby on the first two days of work, and looking back I wonder if it was because I wasn't going to the gym? Could 5 weeks of running leave me that addicted?
Either way, by the end of my (very busy) shift yesterday, I was fit to be tied to get off the unit, and to the gym. I was a little worried that I might have built things up too much, and sent my wife a text: "I sure hope this run goes well since I've been looking forward to it for 3 days!"
Once I got on the treadmill (towel safely tucked into the cup-holder this time) and started running, I felt the tiredness in my legs and feet melting away into warm fuzziness.
It felt so good.
And I couldn't help but smile.
I was only jogging along at my base 5 mph, and I could tell--I kept bumping against the treadmill rail. I made the decision to stay at that pace because I wanted this to be a longer run, and I didn't want to burn myself out too quickly.
Anyway, I ended up running a full 5K, which is a good half mile further than I've run continuously to date.
I know that on the spectrum of runners and runs floating out here on the blogosphere, it's an insignificant distance and pace. And I feel a little silly trumpeting it as an accomplishment here on my blog. But it was another small victory for me, and I plan to use this "mile"stone as a "stepping" stone to greater times and distances.
Do you remember your first 5K experience?