Just finish

So, I ran a 15K race this past Sunday. I almost didn’t. My ankle has been bothering me for a while (that’s a story for another time, though, and it would be a boring one anyway). For the past few months the most that I’ve run at one go has been 10K, and that’s been about 50/50 running and walking. I did finally get a new pair of running shoes a few weeks ago, though, so I figured what the hell, why not give it a go? If it came to it, I’d walk most of the route and call it a day.

Of course, it would turn out to be a gross, rainy day. Even though it’s the middle of December, it was also in the mid-60s, which upped the gross factor accordingly. I thought, there’s no point in trying to run this. Just consider it a long walk and leave it at that.

And wouldn’t you know it, once things got going, I ran the whole way.

When I’d signed up months ago, I’d estimated my pace somewhere between nine and nine and a half minutes per mile. Not spectacular, but respectable. When I’m walking, I average maybe a 15-minute mile. My original estimate would have had me starting in the first corral of runners, but again, I said the heck with it and backed off to the fifth corral with a couple friends, just a couple spots ahead of the walkers and the baby strollers.

Did I set any personal bests as far as my speed for this run? No. I haven’t even looked up my time, but I figure it was somewhere around an eleven-minute mile average. It could have been more or less and I don’t think I would have cared. The weather was cool but not too cool, drizzling a little but not pouring, the course was mostly flat, and there was a breeze but not a headwind. As far as running weather goes, it wasn’t perfect but it was pretty darn good. I had my music cued up (non-stop Kylie on shuffle turns out to be a good tempo for jogging) and I worked up enough of a sweat to feel like I got a workout but not worked over. My ankle’s a little sore, but I’m not limping.

What does this have to do with writing? Hell if I know, but I’m hoping I can approach my work-in-progress with the same take-it-easy tempo, at least through the end of the year. Try giving yourself a break and see if your work output changes—but maybe more important, see if giving yourself a break from the pressure and expectation lets you enjoy it more again. I know I enjoyed my run more when it didn’t seem like such a chore.

And I got bling, to boot!

Hot Chocolate Run 15K medal