So I haven’t written any posts on the wonderful act of running lately. Not that it hasn’t been on my mind OR something I’ve been slowly crawling back into.
I have been back on the road. I’ve been juggling cycling and short runs. In fact, I’ll be doing it very soon this morning.
Last week, I did my first double digit miles in…well… I can’t honestly tell you.
10 miles. I felt glorious in that tired, exhilarating way that a long run can make me feel. Especially when I’ve not been able to for so long.
I wondered taking off… can I still DO this ?!
Over the past year or so I’ve been walking a fine line with an Achilles issue of doing enough but not doing to much to send me horribly backwards. I’m not fully fixed yet but I’ve come to a careful balance of “if I don’t feel any worse, it’s a win” .
Actually, I’ve been using a method that is recommended by many running experts which is a run/walk method. It’s great for a newbie to start getting acclimated to running and protecting from over injuries of doing to much to soon.
The same theory works for a wounded runner easing back into it. The idea being not to over do and let your body adjust to the rigors of being on the road again.
If you’ve never done it, it works something like this. You might start off with a strong, brisk walk and do that for awhile, then start adding in maybe, 10-15 second running intervals, then drop to brisk walking again. You just continue to alternate this through your miles. Of course, the plan is a gradual increase in running time.
Mentally, I have to really keep myself in check from not letting myself run to fast or to long. It’s hard when I know what I’ve done and what I’m capable of doing and keep it reined in to my current needs.
All that to say…as a distance runner… it’s hard to not long for that time on the road. It becomes a craving.
Last week I had gone on a 9 mile jaunt and wondered why I had not just gone the full 10 ( again, baby steps) I know mileage increase needs to occur in small increments to not have set backs or to make injury worse.
Actually I finished with my Garmin saying 9.10… which left me with that thought.. why not have just finished it out to 10?
It’s how runners think.. what’s another mile?
Runners are a weird, wonderful lot.
I never thought that till I became one. It’s funny how you start thinking about things. How you look at things.
Things that start to feel normal to you, but if you speak it out loud to non-runners, they give you that raised eyebrow look or simply tell you that you’re crazy.
Right there is one of those very thoughts…
When you tell a runner they are “crazy” it’s like, one of the coolest compliments you can give us. It means.. you are insane and I’d never even think of doing such a thing but I really admire you for your craziness.
Mileage. If we are coming down the home stretch to where we will finish our run and realize our Garmin is telling us we have only a quarter mile or less to roll to the next mile, you can bet we are gonna make that next mile roll over.
One does not simply stop running that close to hitting the next mile 😉
We spend more on our running shoes than anything else we put on our feet.
It’s the truth. Not only do we spend more, we will wear those suckers out faster than any other shoes we put on our feet. And we go right back and repeat the process. If we have a brand and model we love we look forward to and anticipate when they newest model will come out.
Next to shoes, it’s clothes. They can be bright, colorful and sometimes very noticeable. We often wear minimal clothes. Running, that’s hard work and gets your inner heater going. The clothes can be as pricey as the shoes.
We view injuries as a total inconvenience to our running schedule, training and future plans instead of worrying about how we may have beat ourselves up.
We view hills as something to overcome and rule over. If we’re worth our salt, they become a part of our training ground.
I caught myself in this one the other day talking to my husband about my recent 10 miles out…
” My run was only 10 miles”
It’s like… as a runner your thinking shifts and you see some things as perfectly normal and no big deal…
Then it hit me.. 10. Miles.
That is a flipping long way.
True, I’ve gone further. The half, full and ultra marathon were definitely lots longer distances.
10 miles during training for those events was nothing.
But when you casually talk about a cool 10 miles before breakfast…. you realize…you’re weird and that normal people aren’t out doing that.
Your foam roller becomes a new best friend. Or in my case, I now roll out on a pvc pipe. It’s a wonderful “hurts so good” feeling sometime. But oh so necessary to keep muscles loose and pliable.
Some nights my evenings are so exciting watching a favorite tv show and rolling.
Runners willingly pay money to run long distances, in all kinds of weather (cause when you’ve already paid, you run.) We usually get a t shirt, a cool medal to add to our collection and a banana at the end. We push ourselves and if we’re lucky we set a new PR and walk away with the bragging rights for having done it.
Speaking of weather. Yeah, we run in pretty much whatever. Yeah, we hear you use the adjective “crazy” on us again.
We can’t explain it to you… really… we can’t.
But there is something about running when the weather is less than perfect and you’re out in the elements working against them that makes you feel like… a beast.
It’s exhilarating. Trust us. It is.
And miles… It’s how our brains now work. Every where we go we measure things in distance of miles. We think about it in terms of speed and arriving to our destination. We know miles to and from our house, around the block, or our favorite running place. Actually, we could probably tell you to the tenth of a mile the distance.
It’s sick. I know. I’m pretty sure our brains go through a rewiring process or something.
Math. I’ve never been into math. I think it’s boring. I never got the complex stuff in school. I love words more. Yet, here I am in sports that have me thinking of times and splits and mentally measuring pace and distance to finish when I want to finish. It’s constant, ongoing, mental math.
Oh the irony.
People. Wonderful, supportive people. The running community is made up of the friendliest, most supportive people I’ve encountered.
Fast, slow or in between we cheer each other on, celebrating each others successes and personal bests. Encouraging when we get derailed and set back. Offering help and advice on training, recovery etc.
Weird and wonderful.
But hey… don’t just take my word for these things. There’s always room for one more runner. Come join us 🙂