All week I planned to do my long run on Friday morning and looked forward to it. I always have a bit of trepidation before my long runs, because I struggle to wrap my mind around the fact that I can run over 10 miles, it just seems unfathomable, still, after doing so many times.
I slept poorly Thursday night because my back hurt, an new/different pain that made it impossible to get comfortable, so when I woke up Friday morning I considered just hanging it up and not even trying to run.
Sometimes it’s easier to just not try than to try and risk failure.
I tossed the prospects around mentally, would I give it a shot, or just relax at home and hope for the best. Then I realized that my back hurt in bed, and it hurt sitting in a chair, so it would hurt whether I ran or not, so I had nothing to lose by trying. I had to coach myself that it would be okay to just come home or to walk if I couldn’t run, but I’d do my best. I popped an Aleve and donned my shoes.
I decided to head right for the trails, trail running is challenging, but the varied footfalls and softer terrain tend to be easier on the body that the repetitive, straight ahead motion of street running, so I determined that the trails would be my best shot for getting my mileage in.
My back did hurt. The run wasn’t a miraculous fix, in fact the pain is still there this morning, but it didn’t win. I beat the pain, and treated myself to some endocannabinoids to boot. (Yes, that means that running gets you stoned like marijuana). Oh, and I treated myself to this view, as well as many others.
Some day that might change. With bulging discs and arthritis in my back, it’s possible that my running days are numbered, that the time will come when I have no choice but to stay in. But today is not that day. Today I run.