Much has been written about the connection between running and mental health. It's all true.
Days and days and days of stress, layers of grime. All washed away by the wind. It isn't always an hours-long, epic jaunt that leaves you breathless and gassed. Sometimes its just running. And for me, of late, running without pain.
It was only three miles. Three miles not that fast. But I felt good. Achilles felt great and while my calf felt a tiny bit tight, I ran how I wanted. I had to back it off -- I wanted to go faster. I could have gone faster. And after seven days without running, my legs felt fresh, strong. I got my swagger back.
I realized that one of the hardest parts about running hurt is that your mind flips from automatically running through pain to shying away from it. When you're rehabbing and feel pain, the smart thing to do is stop. Because if you don't, it will only get worse. As opposed to when you're healthy, where pain comes and goes a thousand times during a run, and it always goes away.
Without being able to fight through pain, you'll never get anywhere. Anywhere fast, anyway.
I'm not going to say today was a turning point -- I've had too many of those lately that have proven to be false positives. I know my body is not 100%, but I got my mind back today. And that, as they say, makes all the difference.