When I started first running, I made a promise to myself: no running in my own neighborhood. Why? Because initially running in my own neighborhood was incredibly, deadly, mind numbing boring. Guess what? This weekend I went for a run around the neighborhood, and it was incredibly fun!
So, you know that I am using a training calendar from a local marathon. I am not, however, following it exactly to the day. Instead, I stick with each level until I feel comfortable enough to move on. As you can see in this photo, I did three two-mile runs before I felt ready to move to the next step. What I wasn’t expecting was that the next step would be going back to intervals. I thought that now that I was running miles, I would keep adding to that, but nope! Back to intervals. In fact, back to one minute run/one minute walk intervals – which I haven’t done in a while.
Sure, I was tempted to make up my own next step, I’ve done that before, but ultimately I keep coming back to the schedule… after all, they are the experts, I’m not. On Saturday I decided to go ahead and follow the training program and get out there and do my intervals, and here’s the thing – it turned out to be fun!
The first couple of minutes were awkward, just when I felt like I was starting to move well my little RunKeeper lady would call out a one minute marker and I would have to change my pace. Then I figured out that because I was walking every other minute, I didn’t have to restrain myself during the run portions. Normally I hold back so I have enough energy to make it through the whole run. Since I was running only one minute at a time, however, I could just go ahead and let loose. It was the first time I’ve done that – just ran like I wanted to!
The blocks flew by. I wasn’t bored with my neighborhood at all, in fact, I barely saw it – I was enjoying myself too much! Plus, I am finally at a place where I can start thinking about other things while running. For so long all I could think about was putting one foot in front of the other, now I’m finally getting to where I don’t have to do that anymore. I can daydream and think about blog posts or whatever I want. It makes running a lot easier, I can tell you that.
Once I got in the groove, my 30 minute run of intervals went fantastic. In fact, it even felt pretty easy, up until the last couple of minutes – then I started to wind down. My pace was, of course, much slower due to all the walking, but still decent, (for me.) I run for a lot of reasons, but I have to say, this was the very first time it was fun. Satisfying, empowering, motivational… I’ve felt all that and more from running, but never before fun. It makes me look forward to it in a whole new way.