Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Running lately

Something happened lately with my running. I'm not sure if it's a result of continuing to use my Garmin and thus finding my true pace, or just the simple result of lots of days in a row of stepping outside.

I'm enjoying my runs way more than I used to.  I'm actually running way more (and walking less) than I used to.  I find that being able to watch my heart rate gives me such an accurate picture of how fast or slow I should go.  I have better clothing, which makes a big difference in my comfort.  I was reminded of this last week when I did a 4 mile run in a pair of Soffe (cotton) shorts.  My chafed legs were screaming by the time I got home.  It showed me how dependent I've become on tech fabrics and ignoring my skin.  What a blessing.

I've been talking about my audio book all week, but I think it shows how I've made headway in terms of not being dependent on music to propel me through a run.  It used to be that I couldn't imagine not running in time to music because my pace was so tied to a beat.  When I first started running with other people it was hard for me to pace myself without any music.  I could never run without music before.  Ever.  Now that I am better about listening to my body (and truthfully, tuning it out for long periods of time) and while I can run without anything in my ears at all, I really like the distraction that is a book.  It makes the time FLY much faster than anything else I've figured out and it makes me feel like a smart (and productive) cookie to get some reading in -- the ultimate multi-task.  I can't believe that my legs will just keep chugging along for an hour or two without any prompting from me.  THAT'S WEIRD.  COOL, BUT WEIRD.

The last two weeks I did 21 miles each.  This week I'm aiming for 18, but I have a feeling I'll overshoot that if I join the gang that's running 11 around the lake this Saturday.  And I have to say that the biggest improvement is that I'm not afraid of long distances anymore.  To me 10 or 11 is still long, but when I got home last Saturday and realized I didn't have to walk once during my entire run I felt like queen of Awesometown.  I'm excited to run with people each weekend, not scared that I won't finish.

One of the reasons I liked running early on was that there was measurable progress each day.  I'm glad that I am still feeling that progress two years later.  I ran this morning just as the sun was coming up over the creek again and I was supremely happy with how I was spending my time.  I would have never thought that it would make me happy to run.  I look forward to that time, I find that it energizes me.  It makes me feel like my body is strong and healthy instead of worn out.



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