I Needed That

I haven’t gone for a run since that record-crushing race almost a month ago lol. I took a couple days off then started walking 12-18 miles a day for 11 days. After that I did some site seeing in Santiago and Madrid (more walking!) before the long flight home. Since then I’ve not done a whole lot physically. I go on daily walks, but they are really short since our puppy (yes! we ended up with a puppy after all!) can’t walk very long just yet. It’s been quite an adjustment for my body to go from 22-35k steps a day to less than 10k. However, I probably did need to rest a bit.

Add on top of all that the weather… even if we didn’t have a puppy and I had a ton of energy, running in thick humidity and high temps (even at 6 am) is just not something I choose to do.

So, I was really excited to see the weather forecast for this morning – low humidity and 50s! After taking care of the pups and going on a short walk with them, I put on my running shoes and went out for a run… and I loved it!

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I realized that although we were walking long distances on the Camino and we traversed quite a bit of elevation, the really hard parts didn’t last super long. We’d go up a hill, but then it would plateau. While running today I thought about how on the Camino I was never out of breath for more than thirty minutes. There was rarely a time that I couldn’t speak a full sentence. That’s not the case when it comes to running – I breathe hard the whole time and I’m lucky to get a quick “Hi” or “Good morning” to a passerby. I realized how much endurance running has given me. That endurance served me well on the Camino.

In addition to a good run, I also got a really good night of sleep. I don’t think I’ve had a full eight hours of sleep since before I left for Spain. Between not sleeping well during the trip and jet lag coming back and bringing home a puppy a week ago, my sleep cycle has been off – to say the least! However, last night I went to bed at 10:15 and stayed asleep until 6:00 – I probably would have slept longer had Denali not woken me up.

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One thing the Camino taught me is that even when I feel like something isn’t enough (i.e., waking up with the thought “I didn’t get enough sleep last night”), it’s often sufficient. Yes, I often woke up tired and I would have felt better with more sleep, but the amount I had was sufficient to allow me to get up, put on my pack and walk. I learned that my body (and more importantly, my mind) is stronger than I knew. I learned once again that I can do hard things.

I’m not a huge fan of getting up at 5:00 every morning, but it’s what needs to be done to make sure our puppy is well cared for. It’s taken over a week for my body to allow me to sleep through the night after traveling home. My eyes felt fuzzy all week at work and my mind was groggy. However, I still got my work done. I didn’t get eight hours of sleep any night this week, but what I did get was sufficient enough for me to take care of the dogs, clean up the house, do laundry, drive to and from work, read through the backlog of emails, catch up with my to-do list, etc. I figured if I could get up and walk 18 miles with less than eight hours of sleep, then surely I can get up and live my daily life with less than eight hours of sleep.

Last night I really needed a good night of sleep and I got it. Today I really needed a run and I got it. And it’s only 9:00 am. Everything else that happens today will be a bonus! Whoo-hoo!

peace.


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