Comments: This was a confidence-building run. I realized after I finished: each run, good or bad, is a layer of experience that forms the basis of how we feel about ourselves doing ANY activity. That is much more confusing sounding than I wanted it to be. Uhhh...if I think of my concept of myself as a runner as a tree, then each run is like a single tiny layer of wood within a ring in the trunk. And just like in a tree trunk, the rings of experience have a seasonality. Certain times of year are typically less beneficial for growth, and the corresponding ring size is thinner. And certain times of year are really fruitful, and the rings are thick - the trunk grows a lot during these bountiful times. Maybe that's when I can lay down some consistent, (ideally) high-quality training.
Anyway, let's get back to more concrete terms. This run a) made me feel like my consistent training of 2020 has been paying off, and b) felt like a nice thick layer of xylem and phloem to add to this season's ring (note to self: cambium is between xylem and phloem, is one cell thick, and makes new xylem and phloem cells. Xylem is on the inside, phloem (also called inner bark) on the outside).