Lately I've been feeling like I'm actually a different person than I was before my surgeries.
So far in training, each new distance has come with ease. I have felt confident. I have been nervous as I build mileage, but also unbothered by past hangups. I'm free from the comparison traps, the pace calculations, the hunger to prove myself...
It's as if running has been stripped back down to basics, and everything feels good as a result.
I honestly can't remember any time in the past that five miles felt like it could be my new baseline. It was three for a long time, and then four - and four felt like an accomplishment. Any distance over four felt hard-earned. Any distance over four was a long run.
I can't explain it. Friday's run felt like homecoming. My body just loved the run. It felt fluid. It felt meant to be.
Is it residual gratitude over being able to run again? Is it the cooler weather? Is it the fact that the race I'm training for is my favorite race?
I can't say for sure. But I know this: something has clicked into place for the first time in ages, maybe the first time ever, and running feels like a friend welcoming me home.