Late in 2001, I started running, after several years of general inactivity. It was a frustrating process; my legs didn't have much of a problem (I had lost 30 pounds over six months, and carrying my suddenly-lighter frame was surprisingly easy), but I was nine months removed from a pack-a-day smoking habit, and I would have to cut runs short because I was gasping for air. I tried to stick to it, but the running program ended after three weeks, when I sprained my foot on some uneven pavement.
This attempt at running is meeting with similar results. I'm better at controlling my breathing; even when my chest sounds like a blast furnace, I can breathe evenly, and this encourages me to ignore my burning quads and push on. Unfortunately, the sure sign that I still lack the cardiovascular fitness for longer runs is the lightheadedness. Seeing spots = time to stop.
Tonight's run is scheduled for 11:00, when the temperature should only be in the low 80s. I just have to remind myself how much I love this place in the winter.