Monday, August 18, 2014
Man, this running everyday thing is challenging sometimes (especially when combined with half marathon training runs and trying to hit the 1000 mark before you get to that point as well.) The 1000 mile challenge for the year has turned into the 10 month mark actually since things are cruising along quicker now. It's the things that challenge the mind I think more than the body. I mean I've had a long, cold, and snowy winter to overcome, and now I have this construction obstacle. See I live a mile from one bike path, and there's also another one about a third of a mile after that. The thing is that the major street I use to get there is closed right now (for 10 days total.) I know. I know. I'm sweating something minor, but I really became accustomed to running to one of those paths and going from there (sometimes just three miles and other times well beyond.) So it's a stretch of the mind to come up with an interesting detour route that doesn't remind me that I'm going out of my way to get the job done. I can get to those same paths if I want to, but I have to take the scenic route (I mean that sarcastically) to get there. Yeah, I hear you once again. Sure it's just the potential for extra mileage, but it's just so BORING! So the way around it is to keep in intersting. Add as many turns and twists as possible and keep the mind moving. One other thing I'm doing is working on some gear shifting, like I'm going to do in a little bit tonight. Mix up the paces and see where I come out. Kind of like a pop quiz for the November half marathon (because it's going to be a gear shifting run for the most part.) The light is at the end of the tunnel soon though because Friday the railroad tracks will reopen again. The things like the winter and the construction is that you just find a way to make it through the uncomfortably and use it to your advantage. It's temporary and not forever, so I try to pick something out of it and focus on it. It helps keep the focus, but it brings more to the running game as well. The training is getting shorter and shorter though as I'm 90 days away from locking up my 3rd half marathon and of course that's followed closely behind by the end of the year (yay!) It's funny how I just kept adding more and more challenges to this year, and now one by one I'm subtracting them as I knock each of them out. They are all seek and destroy missions now!
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
For me, every run is a test. In reality it's a whole battery of tests. A test to see if I can pull off a run no matter what I'm experiencing. A challenge to complete the distance I set out to do. A speed test to see if I'm picking up the pace. A test of one's discipline to maintain a certain form or posture. A test of creativity to come up with a new route. A test of spontaneity to change a route on the fly. A test of drive in lengthening a run to make sure a certain mileage is reached. A test of courage to brave weather elements that others deem unsafe or crazy to be in. A test of one's dedication to continue to put on the running shoes. A test of one's patience to see gradual progress. A test of determination to train and work towards a goal, and even a test of ambition to set a goal in the first place. It's also a test of resilience to bounce back from a sub par run or even and injury. For me, this is what runs are for me. They are not fun, and I don't get that warm and fuzzy feeling when I'm exchanging strides. I really don't like the feeling when I run, because it's hard work. As described here, it's a series of tests for me. But at the end of every run, comes the feeling of accomplishment. That is what does it for me. It's like a euphoric drug that I can't get enough of. I think about where and when I'm running while I brush my teeth after I get up in the morning, here and there throughout my day, and sometimes wake up in the middle of the night awakened by the turning gears in my head. I'm a junkie. I get my high when I finish every run.
Saturday, August 09, 2014
I'm still experimenting with the new shoes with a certain manufacturer. Went the route of a lighter weight shoe (similar to what I've been running in for the past 2 months,) and I've gotten burned with the last two choices. The latest test run left my midfoot extremely tender after a 6 mile run, and so much that I didn't break into full stride and toe off tonight. So now I will be going back to a heavier shoe again with more cushioning when they arrive next week. If anything, they will at least (I HOPE) provide the right amount of protection underneath the forefoot that I need. If the weight is a factor, maybe I'll just use them as a short leg building shoe, which isn't bad because I probably will fly in the other pair shoes I have (which are about 3 ounces lighter.) As for the mileage, I haven't really cranked on the mileage. I did do a straight 8 mile run on Sunday, but I was supposed to go 2 miles further. I also skipped the 13 mile run a couple of weeks ago too at the end of the month. I'm cool with it though, because if I'm going to finish out the remainder of the year in complete accomplishments, then I have to mix things up a little bit. I feel good though, and if I'm not right on target I'm sure I'm pretty damn close.
Sunday, August 03, 2014
I was talking to a co worker whose house I stopped by today, and was telling him about my evening the prior night. How I had had a little bit too much to drink, but still managed to pull off a minimal mile run. Astonished he asked "Why did you run?" I thought for a second and explained it this way. Say you were working hard on a project in your garage for the last 8 months, and all of a sudden you grabbed a hammer and just smashed it into pieces. How would you feel? With that, he understood. Running everyday, means exactly what it says. Miss just one single day, AND IT'S OVER. Instant result: FAIL! All that effort put in turns into a waste. Tonight was another good example, though I'm not exactly thrilled about back to back one mile runs (but I did get some leg conditioning in today with a 20 mile bike ride.) My wife and I got back too late at one this morning. I didn't change my shoes, or my clothes. I just started running that mile (and it was like running barefoot in the worn out Ghost's I use do walk around in everyday now.) Tomorrow, I should be able to but together a long run again, and chip away some more mileage to those 1000 miles for the year. I'm going to have a little more free time with my days soon being between jobs now, but I plan on working on strengthening a few beneficial areas in an attempt to increase my pace more. It was another low mileage week, but it provided a little of healing and mixing things up a little. We shall see what happens!
Monday, July 28, 2014
So for the past week or so, I've kinda of backed off a little bit on the runs distance-wise. I think there were a few reasons for this and some benefits from it too. First of all, I needed to shake off some of the burn out I was feeling from that phenomenal of running for me. Running everyday alone has the potential to do that, so change is good (even if it's toning something down a little.) The other thing is that my wife comes on most of my runs with me, and I have to be careful so she doesn't overheat or get too exhausted to where she's struggling to get home. Another thing is that it's going to be a little bit until I get the new shoes I'm ordering from Hoka, so I'm cutting some of my limestone trail runs which wear the shoes out and that affects the total distance and flow of the runs. Finally it also gives things that are a little worn a better chance to recover despite going at it everyday still. All this is an opportunity to crank up or vary the speeds of my runs too (which I plan to utilize in the next half once again.) The other thing is that there's a little less pressure with the lack of structure. I sometimes just end up running to places by how I feel at the time (much like my workouts at the gym now) and just figuring it all out when I get back. The difference is that the push to make the run longer comes towards the end of the run rather than just planning a longer route before hand. The thing that I'm not very comfortable with is that I've gotten away from the longer runs on Sundays, but I'll get that fixed REAL quick as this next month's Sunday runs are 10 miles. I just think I'm at the point where I'm very comfortable with the mileage and effort that I've put into this and feel that I'm without a doubt on the right track. I have about 111 days left before the next half (I think?) and it looks like I'll be hitting that 1000 mile mark for the year before I get there with about 340 miles left to go. After that, running the rest of the way till the end of the year will be completely free of structure, pressure, and stress (except with the obligation to still contribute everyday some mileage.) And after that.............the switch gets turned OFF!
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