Monday, August 15, 2011

Nothing like a great long run to build confidence

Running has been hit or miss for me the last several months. It's probably a mixture of mental and physical fatigue, but whatever it is, it's annoying. I registered for the BayState marathon on a whim, but have been open to switching to the half. I figured I'd just be flexible and see how I felt as marathon day approached.

Around the time I registered, I quickly realized that something had to change with my "training" methods. I had been focused on getting in more miles, hoping to be running 50-60 miles per week, but I just didn't feel good. Many runs were of poor quality. My legs were constantly tight. And my breathing was not smooth. That's when I figured I should be prepared to switch races, and rather than focus on running more miles I should focus on feeling strong.

I stared doing core exercises, push ups, leg exercises, stretching, foam rolling, using "the stick", and icing my legs. Now I've been running for a long time, so I know all this stuff is important. But here's the deal, I'm time limited and figure I should do what I want when I have the time, which is run. Obviously though, running was becoming less fun, so something had to change.

Anyway, all that leads me to this awesome long run I ran with AM this past weekend. She mentioned us doing a long run together, which sounded great in theory, but she's a lot faster than me (and I'm not exactly at my best right now). But I really enjoy running with her, so I figured I'd run with her for as long as I could and if I had to send her off after 10 miles so be it.

The day came and I was nervous. We met up and started running. And It was awesome! We just ran. We talked and ran. The pace was fairly consistent, it did get a little faster towards the end. We did 20 miles at 7:45 pace. And I felt good! I was tired of course, but not any more tired than I usually get. I was a little sore the next day, but just a little.

I did a slow recovery run on Sunday. My legs were still a bit tired on Monday so I ran slow again, but I'm pretty sure I'll be running the marathon now. Hopefully AM and I will meet up for some more long runs too!

Completely unrelated, here's a pic of my little Emily.