I was dressed and ready to run by 3 pm today. I paced and stared at the front door, eager for my husband to come through it at any moment and give me my ticket to run.  By 3:45, I started calling his cell phone. He didn’t answer. By 4 pm I finally reached him – and he reminded me that he’d taken the city bus today and wouldn’t be home for another 45 minutes. I’d forgotten I had the minivan today and that when that happens, he gets home later than usual.

I was itching to go, but the wind was leaving my sails. When my 9 year old son asked if he could have an oatmeal cookie pie, not only did I say “yes”, I grabbed one too. That’s not something I would normally eat before a run, but I was feeling a little cranky by that point and figured a sugar pick-me-up might not be a bad thing.

When my husband finally arrived home about 5, I was on a sugar crash, slumped into a sitting position in the backyard, staring at the blooming strawberry plants in the garden. I really didn’t feel like running anymore. I felt like throwing in the towel for the day (which is kind of out of character for me.)

Thankfully, my husband knows just what to do in this situation: He told me to go running anyway. And, I did.

Today’s schedule called for an identical run to yesterday: an easy run with a pace of around 10:44. Yesterday, it felt like I glued myself to the Garmin, making myself walk when I went too far ahead of the pace and speeding up, when the humidity made me feel awful at the end. Yesterday’s run was a 10:42 average pace, but it wasn’t that much fun.

This time, I felt I needed to try something new. I decided to just give myself free reign today — run through an unkept field with weeds up to my knees and dirt so soft my shoes sank into it with every foot strike, heart pounding the whole way at the unusual effort, take a side jaunt right up and down the side of a nearby hill, run through a freshly mowed baseball field, run along ditch banks and right alongside golf courses (collecting free golf balls along the way!!) and stopping to savor the scenery a the top of the mountains. THAT was the run I ended up doing today.  I ran with my heart. I ran like a kid. I didn’t care one little bit about my pace — and in the end — it wasn’t that far off from yesterday – but it was a whole lot more fun!

Don’t forget on those days when it feels like a chore — to play a little again – remember why you chose this sport as “YOUR” sport and fall in love with it all over again.  Happy Running!!!!

Stats: 6.56 miles. Ave pace: 10:55. Overall time: 1:11. Fartlek baby!  Nothing like a little light-hearted, happy-go-lucky speedplay to lighten a mood.

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