Two weeks into my training, I have noted two things:
1. Running again makes me ridiculously happy. But-
2. It is very easy to fall back into the old habits, i.e. “Let me run again today so I can burn off what I ate yesterday, even though I should probably rest.” This attitude is partially what led to the horrible 2012 burn out in the first place. I ran last Wednesday, Friday, and yesterday (Sunday). I can use a day of guilt-free rest, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.
I ran last Wednesday with my “speedy” running group. In that group, if you can talk while you run, then you are running two slowly. The workout involved running two “short” intervals (~0.3 miles), 2 “medium” intervals (~0.5 – 0.6 miles), and 1 “long” interval (~1 mile). I had forgotten my iPod, so initially, I wasn’t as excited about the workout. But it ended up being a great run. I ran a lap with a friend, and then used the last two laps to try and catch up with Rowena. She is much faster than I am so I wasn’t actually trying to catch up with her; instead, I was trying to keep a respectable distance from her to challenge myself.
On Friday, I went running on my old campus, the one Boyfriend works at now. So, I had waited until about ten o’clock to begin my run; not the brightest idea, but I knew in advance what I was getting into. This time I had my iPod, and I cranked up the volume to avoid hearing the chitter-chatter of students passing by. I don’t know why I felt so self-conscious on that run. I was wearing an I LOVE NYC shirt that was slightly cropped, and I remember feeling self-conscious about exposing half an inch of my tummy (I don’t know why; the standard dress code of a college female is wearing a shirt that barely covers tiny tiny shorts). I just felt so out of place amongst the students with their baby fat and neon. In the past week, THREE different people have told me that I look “so much younger than my age.” I know 29 isn’t old by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s easy to feel old when I realize that the students around me were in elementary or middle school when I had started classes here.
But I was finally able to focus on my run once I left the high volume of students. I felt much stronger on this run than I had in awhile. I actually felt great until about twenty minutes into my run. By then, it was getting uncomfortably warm, and while I can handle hot weather fairly well, I was not hydrated enough and did not have any water on me. I cut my run a little short so that it was closer to three miles (which is the “long run” distance of the week). I felt good when I finished, but the heat was definitely getting to me by then. I’m glad I listened to my body and cut it a little short. Also, I need to stop being stupid and quit running at 10 o’clock.
On Sunday, I went on another three-mile run with Dad. We have two routes that we’ve been doing for the past fourteen (fourteen?!!!!) years, so they are very comfortable and familiar routes to me. Our running relationship has definitely shifted over the years. In high school, it was extremely competitive, and I would often go to school pissed off because Dad would call me slow and then ran circles around me. There was a glorious morning where I beat him, but he said that he was fighting a cold (twelve years later, I wonder if that was actually true…).
That competition isn’t really there, anymore. I don’t know who the faster runner is now, and I don’t want to think about it. I always want Dad to be the better runner. Now when we run, Dad and I just run at a comfortable pace and talk. I never enjoyed speed very much, so I’m secretly glad that our runs no longer consist of all out-sprinting at the end. It was a beautiful sunny morning and it felt wonderful to be by the water again.
Next week’s “long run” – 4 miles!