Saturday, June 5, 2010

Bad run, good run - it's all about attitude

Yesterday's run (Central Park): 2.3 miles at 9:18 per mile

Today's run (street): 4.2 miles at 9:38 per mile

"A good attitude ensures success." I actually saw someone in my neighborhood wearing that slogan on a tee shirt as I ran through the neighborhood this morning. It made me think about my running experiences yesterday and today and how the outcomes were so different. Yesterday was 85 degrees in the city, humid as heck with lots of sun bearing down. I was on the fence whether I would run at noon or take off early and run near home. I had been feeling tired all morning so I decided to have an early lunch and wait an hour to see how I felt. By 2:00 I had completed a presentation that I need to give on Monday so it was time to decide - either exit now or head to the park for a run. My planned running partner needed to take a pass today but I spoke to a few people, all of whom encouraged the running option. I figured that if I followed the Central Park bridle trail I'd have some tree cover to take the edge off the heat.

In the back of mind I was concerned about the weather, my fatigue and the fact that I was running after having lunch. I walked to the park and hit start on the Garmin as I crossed Central Park South. Within a minute I knew I was in trouble and by the time I reached the start of the bridle trail I was already  thinking that my run would be very short. The bridle trail was shadier than the road but the surface is softer and that requires more work. By the time the Garmin chirped the first mile I felt like I'd run five hard ones so I decided I'd only do one more. I headed east and picked up the paved path going south on the upper loop. The heat was brutal (apparently there was an air quality warning as well) but there were a few other runners out there who passed me at a brisk clip. Once I reached the 7th Ave. cut-over I stopped and cooled down having completed 2.3 miles. I realized that I had set my expectations for a difficult time and got exactly that.

This morning my goal was to get out early before there was too much sun and heat and cover a moderate distance within my neighborhood. It was important to put a good run on the books after yesterday's struggle and I could tell right away that the going would be easier than on Friday. I wore the Kinvaras because I didn't plan to run too long. Despite their light weight I didn't go very fast but I certainly didn't care about that. It was important that today's run be enjoyable and beneficial. Since my going-in attitude was positive I ended up pleased with my performance even though I was fairly tired by the end. I know it was just a slogan on a tee shirt but having a better attitude this morning did help ensure a better running experience today.

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