When I go out for a run these days, I am intentional about not going out too fast. I'll glance down at Garm a time or two to make sure it's not creeping under 8:30. I always want my first mile to be the slowest.
Tonight was no different. I had errands to run and was time crunched so I parked near Lake Calhoun. I got started later than I had planned so I scrapped my long run plans in favor of one lap around the lake. No agenda, I just wanted to run.
After a few minutes, I glanced down at Garm and he told me I was set to run an 8:23 mile. Not too bad. When I heard him beep the mile split, I didn't look. In fact, I didn't look at all until he beeped the fourth time, 7:57 for the mile. I was just coming to a hill to get back up to my car and told myself that I at least needed to make it to 4.5 miles and that this last half mile couldn't be any slower, even with a hill to climb.
As I was running up that hill, I thought about how Joel would say "Up. Up!" when he was being laid down for a procedure and how he would cry until we sat him up. And so I told myself up, up and made my legs burn getting up that hill.
And I didn't stop once I got to the top. I wanted to outrun the stress of the present, the worry for the future and the pain of the past. And I made my lungs burn until I saw 4.5 on Garm.
I walked until my breathing and heartbeat weren't the only things I could hear, stretched my tight calves, got into my car and put on this song. (I dare you to try to listen to it only once.)