Today I finally restarted my running regime. One thing that helps me and motivates me in my running is an application called BuddyRunner that's installed on my Android phone, my Nexus One. It's a free app but it has great features that you'd need in a fitness app. One, tracking your time and distance, two, mapping your running route on the map using GPS tracking, three, storing your results in a way that you can see them (it uploads to a web-based dashboard), four, creating charts and graphs from this run data. It's very simple to use as well - click Start when you leave home, click End when you finish workout. On the route it vibrates and speaks the distance in my ear at every half-mile mark. Since I already have the headphones in for music, that works very well.
So, back to today, I was not expecting much from myself today having not done anything in the last few months, (except an all-day Salsa class last Saturday, that was brutal!) but I was pleasantly surprised. I have 2 main markers to gauge my performance during the run. First one is the half-mile mark from my house. Crossing the road at a certain traffic signal, after a few more steps is half a mile from my doorstep. Of course, I have BuddyRunner on my phone screen to get the exact mark. I try to hit this mark in one breath. Today I was not expecting that. But not only did I hit the mark, I was not even completely exhausted yet! So I kept on going and touched 0.60 miles. (Yeah, not going to the New York marathon with that stamina, I know.)
Then there is a hill that I have to walk up, it's quite steep, don't think I'll ever be able to run up that slope. But right from the top point there I run down the slope and take a right then cover some more distance on a level road. That's my second mark, to do that whole L-shape piece in one breath. Today, I not only did that but kept going and did 0.70 miles before resorting to walking. My best run is from the start of that L-shape route to my doorstep, which is a full mile.
But today I got 1.3 miles of solid running in my 2.2 mile route, and I am happy with it.
The lesson here is that you need to try, even if you don't think you will be great, you still need to try, you maybe pleasantly surprised. If not, you will still build up to do better and better every time you try it.