Today was a warm run through the dry, desert air. I saw mocking birds and quail as I ran. I suspect it was already too hot for the lizards to be out and about because they were absent. I ran slower than normal, pacing a staggering (literally) 12 minute pace. I did this for 2 reasons: 1) I am no friend to heat so if I am to survive as a runner here in the desert, I'd better take it easy, and 2) I am still recovering from my terrible cold. I was still congested, even. In fact, I was concerned that I might get cited for spitting on the sidewalk today (honestly, I could not wait).
There is no shame in taking it easy. Today, I take great pride in my ability to slow down and give myself a break. If there is one thing that I have learned from Coach Joe Henderson (and there is much, much more than just one thing) it's that running slow can be an amazing tool to successful running. So often I find myself caught up in thoughts of PRs and time improvements. This is silly, if I really think about it. I mean, the fact that I can run at all is nothing short of amazing. So, do I hesitate to blog about pacing 12 minutes today? Sure. Did I see birds and find drinking fountains and appreciate trees along my run? You bet! And am I a healthier runner because I set my ego aside and took it easy? I'm pretty sure I am.
Early Morning on ASU Polytechnic Campus
Don't get me wrong; I still intend to challenge myself. I just know a little bit more about me and how I recover from working too hard. I also know how I can actually make myself sick or sicker if I push it. I don't need to do that today. No, today, what I need is to feel the sun on my legs and shoulders and the feel my breath working with my heart, easy. Short and sweet and slow.
I can sprint tomorrow.