Saturday, September 10, 2011

After Giving Up the Running . . .

I'm back at it. Yeah, I know. I'm fickle.

The thinking about running again started last Saturday, as Hubby and I were out cycling. I was mulling over how I fulfilled all my goals for the summer--giving the sprint tri another go (I actually did three, my best of the three showing I shaved off 20 minutes from last year's attempt) along with completing at least 3 century rides--and I was wondering what my next step was going to be. The first thing that came to mind was running. I'm seriously insane to even entertain the idea, but yesterday I went out and walked/jogged 4.65 miles. Today I went out for a 5.53 mile walk/jog. Now, my legs are mad at me, actually screaming at me when I go up and down the stairs, but I like the soreness. Makes me think about the day after my last century ride when my legs were sore and I thought of the soreness as a badge of honor for the effort I had put in during the ride. I feel that same way today after walking/jogging. I like that.

Part of the attitude change is I'm not putting on the pressure to be fast. I'm not fast. I never will be. What I do have is endurance. I can go for a long time without getting terribly fatigued. That's gotta be worth something, right? Yesterday while I was out, I used the Garmin to keep track of my pace, HR, and distance. I kept a brisk 4.5 mph pace going, breaking into a jog every now and then to raise my HR, bringing it back down after a half mile or so and repeated. As it was my first day out, I decided to just do between 4 and 5 miles to see how things went. At the end, feeling peppy and re-energized after a couple of weeks of the blahs, I planned out my next day's walk/jog. Today was that walk/jog. I added on over a half mile, maintained the same pace as yesterday, and felt incredible when I reached the driveway.

I'm glad I gave up the running when I did. My attitude towards it wasn't healthy. Being away from it gave me the opportunity to get more miles on the bike, and spending so much time in the saddle allowed me to make peace with my turtle running pace. Just like the pace while on the bike doesn't matter, neither does it while running. Getting out and moving should be the focus: slow, in-between, fast, whatever. That's where the happiness is.

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