I went running tonight, for the first time in my new Asics, around the waterfront. I took last week off from running because my heel had been really hurting me. I hoped that taking a week off from high-impact running (I still went to the gym and biked and did the elliptical trainer and walked) it would give my foot and tendons a chance to heal. And I think it was a wise decision. Prior to the past two weeks, I had been training hard (for me), putting in more miles per week than I have ever done, and doing hills and speed work every single week. And it mostly paid off, but this old boy needed a small break after that to recharge.

But, damn, I miss running. It makes such a huge difference in my mental outlook. I and my friends can tell when I haven’t been running. I’m much more passive and on edge. Even working up a huge sweat on the stationary bike doesn’t do the same for me that a run in the fresh air does.

The tendons in the sole of my foot, and along the inside of my ankle, still hurt a bit from about the half-mile mark to the mile mark, and a little bit after that, but for the rest of the run (about 3 miles) I felt fine. I will see how they feel in the morning, which has been when they hurt the worst.

I was also not pushing the pace; I ran just fast enough that I could still whistle or sing if I wanted to, or talk. In fact, I said hello to several other runners and bikers. If I had had a running companion I could have kept up a conversation. The weather was perfect; we’re having a nice warm break before the fall starts to set in. It was just warm enough to where I felt good in shorts and short-sleeved shirt.

The new shoes feel good, but two negatives stood out. They’re not major things but I wanted to make a note of them. First, I have to work out the lacing because the left shoe was too tight across the top of my foot. That’s just a matter of playing with it, though; it took me a couple of runs before I got my Nike Structure Triax laces set right, for example. Second, though, and a bit more important, is perhaps related to the fact that they have a gel insole; there was just a bit too much side to side motion of my foot, and this was on concrete and asphalt and metal gratings, not grass or gravel. It made me feel just a little bit unstable in them. Maybe once I get the lacing set up right, and the shoes get broken in, that feeling will go away. I will watch for that.

But, other than that, it felt so damned good to be out and running. I’m blessed (in a totally secular non-supernatural way) to have found my health at this seeming late stage of my life. I’m thankful for being able to move and enjoy myself in a way that made no sense to Brian the Younger. Silly boy. What on earth was he thinking?

For the rest of the week I think I’m just going to play it by ear, and aim for 20 or so miles total. What I don’t get to during the week I’ll just pile onto a long run on the weekend. Next week I’ll come up with a couple of goals, like speed work or something. I have a couple of fall races to look forward to, but I’m not “in training” for anything serious for the winter.