I don’t know if it is the re-motivating effect of attending Success Club last night or just the gradual addiction I have to running but I was actually pretty excited for my run this morning.
I’ve been thinking about it for a while – running after the kids start back to school. Although I am able to get some sort of run in every day, I constantly feel like I have to schedule it down to the minute. I am always trying to squeeze my workouts between some other obligations. The “old me” would have quickly written off exercise for the entire day because I was just too busy. The “new me” will exercise just about every day (I do give myself an occasional rest day, usually on the weekends) but that doesn’t mean I have hours and hours to work-out. No, I’m usually sacrificing duration in order to get back home, cleaned up and off to wherever I’m supposed to be. Pretty typical though, I would guess 99% of us are in the same situation. Anyway, with the kids back in school, my mornings have been a bit more open and I saw a big gap on my calendar for this morning. I knew that I could just go run – and stay out as long as I could. I didn’t put any pressures on myself for distance or speed, but I wanted to see if I could maintain some sort of “jog” for an hour. I was hoping I would get at least 4 miles in that time so I mapped out a course. I did have to wait to start until I got child #3 off to school, so it was about 8AM before I set out. It is already really warm here at that hour – close to 92 degrees I believe – but it wasn’t too bad. I tried to aim for areas on the streets and sidewalks that were getting a bit of shade – but at that hour the sun was pretty intense and there wasn’t much protection. And, again, it happened to be Tuesday – garbage day – but this time I tried to stay out of the neighborhoods and away from everyone’s stinky hot summer garbage cans. My neighborhood doesn’t have trash pickup until Thursday but I like to head south a bit so I can do a lot of my running at a large park nearby. I also like to be near water fountains in case my water bottle runs out. Anyway, except for the heat and sun beating on me, it was a really nice morning. I was very slow – 13 minute miles – but that is pretty good for me as I adjust to street running. I felt pretty confident that I could run one mile much faster than that but I was trying to pace myself for the long haul. Today was not about speed. My heart rate and breathing stayed very steady. I felt pretty good until about 45 minutes in and then my legs were getting a bit tired. This is why I wanted to keep going for an hour – I need to start building my legs up for longer and longer distances. It wasn’t awful but it was probably the first time I have really felt my legs as the limiting factor instead of my heart/breathing.
I wore 3 different “measuring” devices this morning. I got my old Polar RS200 out and wore that. It has a heart monitor and foot pod and I replaced the batteries in both and it worked great. I need to re-read the manual on it to figure out everything it can do. I used it last time I trained for a 5K years ago but I got it shortly beforehand and didn’t have time to really figure it out…and then I stopped running. Just by scanning the manual this morning I learned about several features I didn’t realize it had. I also wore my FitBit and I used the MapMyRun app on my iPhone (I downloaded a bunch of different running apps and am trying a different one every time I go out). I need to have music to listen to so lugging my phone serves a dual purpose (actually a triple purpose – I just feel safer having the phone on me in case of emergency).
So, I ran 4.25 miles in an hour. I didn’t stop. I am pretty sure that is the longest distance I have ever run in my entire life. I have participated in 10-20 5K’s in my life but never ran or trained for distances further than that. Any running I had to do for sports in high school was never more than 2-3 miles. So, it was unchartered territory. I felt pretty good afterward, although it was really quite hot on the pavement by 9AM. I’m glad to have that behind me. I’m going to play around with my routes a little and run more paths in the park because I got back to my neighborhood and still had to kill another 15 minutes. I’d rather be somewhere else than on my own street. I’ll need to do this same thing 3-4 days a week, I believe, as I start my half marathon training. Fortunately it will gradually start to cool off. That, combined with increased fitness, should make it easier and easier. Of course, I’m going to have to start adding “long run” distances to that before too long.
I feel good about the way things went. I know there will be good run days and bad run days but I am not discouraged and, as usual, pretty energized. Even after that I still had plenty of energy to work around the house all day and evening, I only rested long enough to cool down and take a shower. I have noticed that I am a bit hungrier today and that was not helped by my decision to bake all afternoon. I have had a few recipes to try out – one somewhat healthy carrot, zucchini, banana muffin that I can eat for breakfasts or snacks and the other thing was oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. It has been hard not to eat the entire batch of those. It was pretty stupid of me to make them but I have been wanting to make them for, really, most of the summer and it just seems like a good after-school snack. My Polar heart rate monitor said I burned 661 calories on the run so I can have a cookie … or 2.