I could sure tell that it's been a while since I've ran. Achy, tired and thumpy-feeling legs. Tight back. Tired ankles. And then there was the season's first crack at heat and humidity - apparently it was "Feels like 35C" out there today. But I got out and just ran by feel today.
For the first 1k, I felt great, running a 5min20 pace quite easily. Then my body remembered that I wasn't used to this anymore and I backed down to a 5min30 pace until I turned around near the Canal Ritz Restaurant for a quick water break (there's a water fountain there).
Heading back felt harder even with the wind at my back because now I had nothing cooling me down. I felt the sun and humidity sink in and I started to sweat profusely. The next water fountain was near the end of the run, and I decided to walk for 30sec as I saw my HR at about 95%max - I felt rough, but I didn't think I was working that hard. Next time (tomorrow, hopefully) I'll be sure to hydrate better in the morning!
There was a lot in my body and my mind that was telling to quit, or take more breaks, or slow down more. And while I allowed myself to ease into this today, I didn't quit or give up. I played it smart, pushing myself safely while bringing those mental barriers back down.
Yeah, it may have been only 5k today, but more importantly, it's my first step back on the pavement.