A Whole Bunch of Runs

Runs Six, Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten

I was traveling again last week, (it should be the last of that for a bit,) and I wanted to try to get some runs in before I left. So I ended up running on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before my trip. (April 13-15) That was a mistake.

Presently I do not carry a bag on a stick when I run, but I like the idea of it.

Presently I do not carry a bag on a stick when I run, but I like the idea of it.

The Saturday run went pretty well. I am still doing intervals and was super happy to be able to move from 3 min. run/ 2 min. walks up to my first 4 minute run. I was feeling pretty good when I headed out on Sunday… but it didn’t last. It was cold and rainy, windy and dreary and I just couldn’t “get into it.” I chalked it up to a bad day and didn’t worry about the fact I wasn’t able to push myself much. Then I went out on Monday.

Monday was bad. Really bad. I go for roughly 30 – 40 minutes, and it took about 10 of those before I realized what was going on. I was simply tired. There is a reason the fitness gurus tell you to run three times a week or every other day max. when you are starting out. Trying to run every day, as new as I am, was big fat mistake. On top of that – I was stressed because I had to get a bunch done before flying out-of-town. Once I figured out what was happening, I gave up and just power walked the rest. I still got in some exercise and it was a lot less frustrating.

So, I was gone for five days (more on that later) and got back late Friday night. Saturday I headed out again for Run Number Nine and it was… okay. I ran in the neighborhood, which is easy, but not as fun as running at a park. I was able to do a couple more 4 minute intervals, interspersed with 3s and 2s, but still, something wasn’t clicking.

Run Number Ten

Monday night. I admit, I have been a bit discouraged. There has been a lot of stress in my life lately and the weather has been terrible. Normally spring is in full swing this time of year, but things have been pretty dark and cold here in the Midwest, and it certainly hasn’t helped my mood any. However, Monday the weather was lovely. It was perfect running weather – sunny, but clear and crisp. The park was full of people – including a Boy Scout Troop picking up trash for Earth Day. I don’t like to run around people much, but it was too nice to not get out.

Before I left my car, I made a couple of decisions: First, I needed to get out of my head. I have been spending too much of my time up there. I decided to play music. I’ve read a lot of running advice about putting down the technology, and I get that. It’s what I have been trying to do, but I needed a distraction – a good one. I don’t have a lot of uptempo music on my phone, though. (I tend to like singer songwriters, but Leonard Cohen, as much as I love him, was not going to do it this time.) My Choice? Michael Franti and Spearhead. Perfect happy, sunshine, get moving music.

The other decision I made was to do 4 minute intervals – 4 walk/ 4 run.  This may not seem like such a big deal to you if you are a runner, but just 3 weeks ago the furthest I had run in well over a couple of decades was up my driveway with my dog. This was new.

And I did it! Mr. Franti and the band kept me pumping and I felt great. Then something awesome happened. A stranger in the park waved to me and asked. “Are you training for [big, locally well-known marathon]?” I am so far from marathon caliber that it made me laugh a bit, but it also made me feel great. I thanked him and told him that those folks are far better than I. Somehow though, it totally helped – and the last 4 minute interval, instead of doing 4 minutes, I did 8!! Woot!

My weight hasn’t changed much the last few weeks. I put some travel/stress weight on, then took most of it off, but not much more. It is okay though, I feel great, I have energy, and once again, I am looking forward to the next run.

Here’s what I was listening to:

Photo credit: Sam Howzit

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