In the old days—five or six months ago—it would have been an easy day. But today running 10 miles had real meaning: That I can run. The Achilles was only slightly sore afterward and after some ice and a shower and lots of leftover fajitas and guacamole I sat in the fading sunshine and felt so grateful for being able to hit double digits comfortably. Yeah, that’s right, I said sunshine: It was sunny today, with temps well into the 50s. Friggin’ awesome afternoon to run. That’s why I ran 10. Did I mention I ran 10? And that I’m pretty happy about it?

I’m doing all my running in New Balance 790s, a trail racing shoe, meaning it has hardly any heel and no cushioning or stabilizing. As a bit of a big guy, I was apprehensive about this shoe, but the idea behind using it was to get my feet more in touch with the ground. To feel the ground. To get my feet working, and stronger. To run naturally again. It takes me a half-mile of running on the street to get to the park where I can do 2/3-mile laps exclusively on grass. That pavement feels hard—but shouldn’t it? What’s been remarkable on the grass, beyond the fact that it’s just plain fun in a childlike way to run on grass, is that in nearly a month of running now I haven’t had a misstep or a twist, knock on wood. And this is not classy golf course stuff we’re talking about. Divots, roots, dog shit—there's plenty of stuff to throw you off stride at ol’ Normandale, but I roll through it, over it, around it.

Ten. I was mostly interested in heart rate, and it stayed almost entirely in the low- and mid-130s on the first half of the run, then the high-130s and low-140s on the second half. The pace was 8:42 and very steady (see the chart above).

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