Sunday, February 12, 2012

muscle memory

Ever since the conclusion of the Fudge Containment Plan, running and I have kind of been on a break. I still cling to my three runs a week, but at a greatly reduced mileage. I've been letting the machinery in the basement and the mat take over the bulk of the work (in air quotes) and letting my knees rest. Like, for real rest. And it's been nice. Very nice, actually. But you see, I ran a race in January. So it seemed logical (to me, at least) that I should find one in February, too.

So I did.

I signed up for a little Valentine-themed 5k and lined up with a few hearty souls in the sub-freezing morning to dodge some ice slicks and be awarded a carnation for crossing the finish line. I was even less ready for this than I was for the January race. I mean, I have been resting. In the truest sense of the word. I expected, wanted, nothing from this but a t-shirt and the ability to look back and say "yes, I ran a race in February."

But it's funny.

You're standing there in the middle of a big group, and someone in the front waves their arms and says "On your mark, get set, GO." So you go.

And suddenly you're running. And you find that you're running faster than you'd planned, faster than you have been recently, and probably faster than you should. But everyone else is going sort of fast, too. It just seems like the right thing to do. Or at least to try. Even though you know it's probably not a very good (safe) idea.

But your muscles (the ones hiding under that protective winter padding), they perk up a little. "Oh yeah... this. I remember this. I love this. We haven't done much of this lately. Let's do this."

So you run. And you relax, and let your muscles remember and do whatever they feel like doing.

And you wind up finishing faster than you planned. Faster than you thought was possible for this day.

And you get a t-shirt.

And you get a flower.

And you even get a little bonus reward. Just because.

And it's all like the best Valentine I could ask for.

Stride on.


Stacia said...

Love the Valentine's present your legs gave you. I think you should reward them with some fudge. =>

Kirsten said...

Rest is always part of the equation to be a good runner. You know this. :) I'm glad you had a good race.

Lyndsay said...

Yay! Good job muscles!