Like everyone else in the Midwest, I took so much heart from the conditions on Monday.
There was, of course, the sheer relief that the polar vortex isn't a permanent fixture.
And the luxuriating in how good sun and 68 degrees felt on my my skin as Regina and I ran in T-shirts and shorts/capris. (I actually came close to too-warm. When was the last time that happened?)
As we looped Gray's Lake, the effort seemed minimal and the pace surprisingly fast. We chatted without struggle, always coming back to "but seriously, is today real?" because of just how demoralizing the endless stretches of deep cold had been for everyone.
"Pretty much you were the only one who didn't just give up on running," Regina observed.
Wait, what? "Oh, I definitely was miserable."
"Yeah, but you still got out there."
It was something I've told myself periodically all winter (along with variations on that theme). Unsurprisingly, though, it actually sinks in when people like Regina or Karla say it — they've been on the same strugglebus.
I hope I attain several of my 5K goals beyond "have fun." But if that's the only one I manage, I hope I remember and believe what fellow runners have said.