Running quote of the week

“I love track running. There’s something about that red 400-meter circle that lets my brain switch off—no roads to cross, no bikes to watch out for.” – Kate Carter

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Grinding it out on Day One

Today's run (street): 3.8 miles

Day one of vacation is usually an invitation to go out for a long run without thinking about schedules or other restrictions. There's a certain energy that seems to come with a clear mind and deferred business pressure. Today is my first day of vacation, but that energy has thus far eluded me.

As I'd said in prior posts, last week was busy, with lots of meetings and presentations. I looked forward to getting a good night's sleep last night so I'd be fresh today, but I had some trouble getting going this morning. It wasn't until my wife had started her treadmill run and advised me that I needed to be back by a certain time that I put myself in gear and went outside to start today's workout.

Last Saturday I preloaded on carbs, first with a gel, and then some dark chocolate. Subsequently, I ran a pretty good race. I figured what worked then would work today, so I tried the same thing before I went out. But instead of feeling a boost, I just felt draggy.

My first half mile was a struggle, what I'd call a grind, where the purpose of the workout is simply to get through it. I wore a pair of Saucony's (Grid Tangents) that I'd shelved last year in favor of my Hattoris and Mirages, but last Saturday's freezing toes inspired me to make a change. The shoes were fine, but the laces were not. Twice during today's run they came untied.

I followed a route similar to my daily 4:00 AM run but added another mile because I had a little more time. After a while the run became less arduous, but it never felt fun. I was glad to finally finish, pleased that I did my run, but not particularly happy with the experience. My performance wasn't bad, a solid mid-9:00 pace. However, I wouldn't call it great.

Some runs surprise you. You go out expecting trouble and end up experiencing your best run of the week. Other times it's the opposite and you return feeling disappointed. Today was a grind but tomorrow it may be better. I'm hoping that's the case. After all, it is vacation, and the running should be fun.

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