Last night was a beautiful fall evening in Buffalo. There was a decent, cool breeze blowing all of the fallen fall leaves across the sidewalks and streets. Several runners and dog walkers were out around the parkways enjoying the night air. There seemed to be a powerful sense of peace and tranquility.
The feelings may have been enhanced by my strong desire to run. Taking over two and a half weeks off has been nothing but stressful. Once I took my first few steps out the door, a relaxing calm washed over me. I took it easy, only a mile and a half in total. The first mile was done in about 9:20, and after that I slowed down due to my burrito supreme stitch in both my sides. If this hadn't been such a peaceful night, and my first run back out, I would have normally called this run an absolute failure. But it wasn't. My foot held up fine. There was a bit of soreness in my right IT band, but nothing I haven't seen before. It was a good run. It felt great.
It is amazing how much stress was released instantly in just a fifteen minute workout. The anxiety about the few pounds I've gained is gone. The worries about my conditioning have vanished.
I plan to get back into running four to five days a week pretty gradually over the next few weeks. With a few 5k races planned in the next couple of months I want to start getting back in race shape. But more importantly, I am truly excited about the much-needed return to normalcy and clarity that running brings.