I've been working on getting my run game back on, and by that I mean, getting outside once a week to run now that the terrible cold snap has moved past. I'm not a treadmill runner, anything longer than a mile is pretty much pure torture, so for me it's running outside. Its freeing to be able to step out my door, lace up my running or trail shoes, and go for a run.
I use my runs to reconnect, with myself, my thoughts, my surroundings. I do have a Garmin watch to track how long, how far, and how fast, but right now I'm just running and not following a plan or workout. I go out and see how I feel and that dictates my pace and distance, that and how much time I actually have to get it in. On my last run, I went out to the flat Chester Valley Trail head near my house - where I had been running on the very hill roads just outside my door - and surprised myself with my speed. I felt great on the way out, aiming for an out and back run of about 45 minutes total.
My watch beeps at each mile, I missed it for the first one, and then on the second one caught I was going pretty fast and challenged myself to try to keep it up. I was going to turn around at 2.5 miles but was feeling awesome and decided to go til 3, then turn around. I was right on target too, around 22 minutes! When I turned around I quickly realized that before I had been running WITH the wind, it wasn't a very windy day, but I had to lean in and push to keep the pace I had on the way out. It got me thinking, why is it that when you're out for a run, walk, or ride you never seem to notice the wind at your back - pushing you along, making it a little bit easier to move in that direction? And when the wind changes, and you're running right into it the wind it's so much harder. I find this is a time when I need to focus more, I can't be as lost in thought, but instead need to focus to meet my goal.
At the end of my run, I made it, even running into the wind I was able to maintain my pace (yay!) and was proud of myself for that. I'm gonna keep running and keep focusing on my environment and being present when I run, and that wind is a sometimes not so subtle reminder.