Showing posts with label excuses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label excuses. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Which friend do you want to be?

Today's run (street): 2.6 miles

I know a person who runs about 40 minutes every few days. The time is arbitrary because he doesn't wear a watch. He thinks that he runs about four miles each time he goes out but he's not really sure. My friend has little idea of his pace but guesses he runs around 10 minutes per mile. I know another person who cycles through a weekly regimen of training: intervals on the track, tempo runs, strides, Fartleks and distance runs. He knows his paces for all these activities. He usually hits his desired numbers. These two people enjoy running, but the way they engage is very different.

I'm somewhere in the middle in terms of activity and expectations. I do care about my distance and pace but I don't devote much time to the core training activities that help make one faster or better prepared for tough conditions. I view my running satisfaction against two criteria -- performance and experience. Performance is defined for me very specifically: a pace as far below 9:00 per mile as possible or covering a challenging distance. Experience is much more arbitrary. That's defined by how I feel. Some runs are relatively slow but feel great. That's a successful experience. Other runs hit the mark on performance but the price paid is pain and/or injury. Not so successful. As a recreational runner I look for equilibrium between these two criteria. When that balance is reached I am a happy runner.

Today I was not a happy runner. I took my usual rest day on Monday and by last night I was feeling ready to run. We had kinetic storms overnight with wind, thunder and lightning and I feared I'd be stuck on the treadmill today. It was slightly rainy when I got up at 3:45 and I decided to go for it. From my first few steps off my driveway I could tell that I would have trouble on this run. I couldn't generate the leg turnover I needed to get to my desired speed and I felt a bit tired. I hoped that initial fatigue would give way to a boost of energy after a few minutes and while things did improve, it wasn't by much. I ended up running for 25 minutes and only covering 2.6 miles in total. Sub-par performance against my expectations and a fairly miserable experience in the process. On one hand I did go out under rainy skies and did my workout long before most of the world was thinking about waking. If I was friend #2 I'd be furious about my poor performance. If I was friend #1 I'd probably think "That wasn't as much fun as usual, maybe next time I'll feel better." I think friend #1 makes the better point.

Friday, July 30, 2010

More reason to blame the heat

Today's run: Neighborhood (planned)

I have my son with me in the office today. Coming into work with me is one of his favorite activities over the summer. He loves the train, being in the city and the office environment itself. He has grown a lot taller since the last time I brought him in and now I have to pay for his train ticket and Metro Pass. I guess that makes sense as he did kick my butt in our recent duathlon so I have to stop treating him like a kid. That is until he drags me to Nintendo World at lunch.

I'm not sure what opportunity I'll have to run on Saturday so I skipped this morning's workout in favor of a longer run when I get home this afternoon. It's beautiful weather for outdoor activity and I hope that's still the case later. I may end up running in that 4PM - 8PM window of peak performance so it will be another opportunity to test that theory. I just read in the current issue of Runner's World that every 5 degree increase in temperature over 60 degrees can result in a 20-30 decrease in pace per mile. Were that true I'd be running even slower than I am these days but, if it is even partially true, it would further explain why I've been averaging middle to high 9:00's instead of the high 8:00 to low 9:00 minute paces I was running in the winter and early spring. With all the conditions for slow running that are out of my control, it's tempting to say that there's not much that I can do to improve my speed until it cools down and/or if I run late in the day. At least I''m not so delusional as to really believe that. Although outside conditions may influence performance I know that only hard work will make me faster.

blogger templates | Webtalks