I don't seem to be getting my Fit Friday posts done in time for Friday. But I decided to just post it anyways. Maybe next week we will be back on schedule.
Today it's some random thoughts I've had on recent runs.
I almost always run up a hill or incline. My pace often slows down, but I figure it's still faster than if I decided to walk it. If I'm feeling very winded at the top of a hill, that's when I'll choose to walk for 30 seconds or so. Is that weird? I feel like most people probably do the opposite. But that's how my brain works--or what keeps me motivated.
This evening I was running a 4 mile route where the entire second mile is an incline. It's not too steep, but running a mile uphill gets tiring. Each time I would find myself slowing down, I would choose a landmark ahead of me and pick up the pace until I get to it.
Speaking of picking up the pace, sometimes I find myself running too fast. Or I'm getting too fatigued and I need a bit of a breather. It happened tonight as I was running the third mile down that same slope, and again during the fourth mile as I was pressing in to get home. Sure the first instinct is to take a walk break. But I also find that if I lengthen my stride, it slows me down and I can breathe more deeply and I get the rest I need. If I want to pick up my pace again, I'll shorten my stride and my knees drive a bit higher.
A new goal or self-challenge can give you new motivation. Sometimes I find myself wanting to skip shorter runs (I'm trying to follow some training schedules right now) because they have become routine. I am blessed to live in an area that I can get 3-5 miles from outside my front door. But I usually run the same route or two.
I've been running with my neighbor some and she likes a route I haven't done much--the one with the 1 mile incline. We ran it last week and I realized I need to do it more often, because it's a new challenge. My neighbor likes it because it's along two main streets in our area. I tend to run more neighborhood streets, but I think that's because I know them since I lived in this area for 10 years prior.
So when I headed out this evening, I decided to do the different route and it was a nice change. That 1 mile incline definitely challenges me in a new way, and I like it. My average pace was up about 15 seconds. So of course I'm going to try to shave that down in runs to come.
Finally today, when you run can make a huge difference. A morning run after a good nights sleep is my favorite. I'm strong, awake, vibrant and full of energy (once I get going that is!). But a morning run isn't always an option for me, sometimes because I just can't get myself out of bed.
Sundays are a long day for me. I'm at work by 7:30am and I spend time walking and being on my feet. We went to an afternoon birthday party and I ran when we got home while Bean prepared dinner. (Yes, he's the MAN!) I felt rather blah. I was tired before I even left, but I knew I'd still be happy I ran even if I didn't feel my best.
So, if you've had a long day and go for a run, don't be surprised if your performance isn't great. Try to get in at least one morning run a week, even if it means "early to bed, early to rise." During the summer, I can wake at 6am and run before Bean leaves for work. Once the school year starts again, I'll have to get up at 5:30am to run on a workday.
I logged about 12 miles in the last 7 days. Hoping for a few more than that next week.
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