This will be a quick post, since it's my birthday. 45! Woot!
For the last three birthdays, I've done a mile time trial at the track. (Do I know how to party or what?) A mile is just one measure of fitness--and even that is a snapshot in time, not the whole story--but it's a cool benchmark to have as one starts a new year (and in my case, a new year of life).
Last year I invited running buddies to join me, and this year I did it again. This morning we had temps in the 30s and rain, but a small-but-cheery crowd braved the elements to run our hearts out. (Some just came to walk loops and cheer for the others! How awesome is that? Of course, the promise of a nice warm Starbucks afterward was a big draw too.)
Last year's birthday mile was a mixed bag. It was better than it could have been, coming off of injury, but not as great as I secretly hoped.
Today was better. I ran my second fastest mile ever, and am just nine seconds away from a personal best.
More importantly, I paced myself well. You can see I'm wearing my "I love running, I hate running" headband. That's the way I feel about these miles. They're rough. I told someone yesterday that I'd rather run a half marathon than a fast mile. That's an exaggeration, but not a huge one. I like the pace and strategy of a long race. And on the mile I typically poop out in the third lap and generally hate life. Not this time! I still started too fast but was able to end fast (for me), and the middle was consistent.
But most importantly, I got to be around friends who came out to support me and run with me, and who give me a birthday banner for my car:
Running is such a numbers-driven sport, but numbers only tell part of the story. As a confirmed middle-of-the-packer, I'll never be the fastest runner, but you'd be hard pressed to find someone who loves it more. And a big part of that is the running community and the lifelong friends I've made. I wish the same for you, whatever your fitness journey looks like.
Body happy. Heart happy.