Showing posts with label focus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label focus. Show all posts

Friday, March 7, 2014

Feeling the run, but not the runner

Thursday's city walking
Today's run (treadmill): 3.25 miles

My schedule on Wednesday and Thursday prevented me from running, although I did cover close to seven miles on foot yesterday. I've managed to get free of my cold, but I still feel like I need to build back some fitness. I've read that taking a week off from running (as I just did) should not affect your your level of conditioning. That's probably true, although I'm finding it harder going when I push to my anaerobic threshold. I really need to do some speed work.

This was a busy morning and I was down to business by 6:30 AM. Around 10:00 AM I took a break and got on the treadmill for my first run since Tuesday. Knowing that I'm not back to 100% in terms of fitness, I opted for just a slightly faster speed than the last treadmill session. I managed to hold that pace without difficulty and, after a time, began to increase speed every quarter mile. By the end I was fairly tired, but not exhausted.

My activity record over the first two months of 2014 looks very similar to prior years. The big difference is where I did my workouts. All the treadmill running that I've done this year has created a level of detachment that I never get when I'm running primarily on the road or on trails. Yes, I'm maintaining (more or less) the same weekly mileage, but I don't feel much like a runner these days.

Unless we get some unexpected snowfall overnight, I plan to return to the road tomorrow. This will be my first neighborhood run in over a month. I really feel the need to reconnect to running. My interest in racing is at an all time low. With the Bethpage relay, Marcie Mazzola 5K and the Brooklyn Marathon on the schedule, it's important that I get back on track. And back to the track.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

When pacing average is better than average

Today's run (street): 3.5 miles

I spent most of the day in the city, but I managed to get out for a run around 6:30 AM. I always walk down the driveway to get the paper while my Garmin acquires its signal. This morning I was struck by the pleasant coolness in the air and the soft light from the sun that would feel much hotter in an hour. The difference between running at 6:30, versus 7:30 AM, when I usually go out on weekdays, is measurable.

It was probably due to the speed work I did on Sunday that I took off with an energy that I haven't felt in many weeks. My stride was smooth and I felt the sensation of moving. That might sound funny, but my runs can sometimes feel static and plodding. I guess that happens when you run faster. I should probably do it more often.

My overall performance was right around my average training pace. My 2012 average, that is. This year I've been averaging 15 seconds slower than that. But that's about to change. I don't know why my focus on speed tends to drift over time, because I generally enjoy running fast tempos and intervals. I guess I should try to remember that more often.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Restorative running

Today's run (street): 3.25 miles

This morning was made for running -- 47 degrees, with sunny, cloudless skies and a minimum of wind. I had thought about going out around 6:00 AM, but instead opted to return some emails that came in overnight. I recently established a new business and did an email marketing campaign on Monday. That yielded a tsunami of responses and it tied me up most of Tuesday.

I still got out fairly early this morning. It was around the time that moms and dads stand outside with their little ones while they wait for the elementary school bus. It seemed chilly, so I wore a short sleeved running shirt with a light 1/4 zip and running shorts. Despite the 47° temperature, it felt cold while I waited for the Garmin to kick in. I knew, once I got going, that I'd start to feel more comfortable. I did warm up quickly, but I never felt too hot. Low humidity made all the difference.

Just for a change, I mapped out a new combination of roads for my run. I've been wearing my Pure Drifts for pavement runs, and the Kinvara 3's for the treadmill, and it's been an improvement at both ends. I felt a little tight when I first set out, but quickly got my rhythm. It was one of those rare runs that felt nearly effortless. And it was an opportunity to enjoy the run while it happened, rather than merely appreciating that the hard work had ended.

Although I only achieved an average pace, I was very happy with the run. I felt good, the sun was shining and the people I saw along the way were friendly and positive. After hours and hours of laptop intensity, it was the perfect way to re-energize, recenter and refocus.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ready to race again

A return to race driven workouts
Today's run (treadmill): 2.5 miles

It's interesting how your running focus can ebb and flow throughout the year. In the first few months of 2012, my mind was on racing and I was happy to attain PR's for my 4 mile and half marathon distances. The experience I had at the New Hyde Park 8K was a turning point for me, and not in a good way. After that race, I'd lost some of my competitive spirit. I did run in a corporate 5K in July, but I skipped the Dirty Sock in August, a race that I'd run the previous three years.

Cow Harbor restored my interest in competing and although I didn't break (or even approach) a personal record, I loved being back in the game. Now that Cow Harbor has come and gone, I'm looking ahead to my next race. I've targeted the town of Oyster Bay's Supervisor's run that takes place in mid-October. It's a 5K that features a long hill going up and another long hill coming down. Happily they put the uphill and the downhill in the right order.

With my interest in performance restored, I've approached my last two workout runs with the mindset that I'm training for a race. By using my HRM to shame me into running faster, I'm managing to get past my natural dislike of the treadmill. It's fun to blip up the speed control until I get my heart rate to my targeted level. This morning I had another invigorating run at a speed that I usually avoid on the treadmill. I hope to take this focus back on the road tomorrow, when I return to the street.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Malaise or maturity?

Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

I am definitely in a malaise when it comes to running, but that's okay. Since I started running on a regular basis, almost four years ago, I've worried about losing my core motivation. Every year I check in with myself in terms of interest and, so far, I've had no issues. My biggest concern has been that I'd tire of the activity and, ultimately, stop.

Lately I've become less energized by news of groundbreaking shoe technologies and I'm not scanning the web in search of interesting races that I could run this year. My gear site, Runner's Tech Review, has lain fallow, even though I've tested product in the last few months.

All this is true but, like I said, it's okay. That's because I still want to run. I expect to run and plan to run. I woke up this morning knowing I'd have a light schedule and an early departure that invited me to put off my workout. Despite that, I dragged myself outside at 3:55 AM to run my daily route. I paid attention to my stride, cadence and level of effort. I speculated on my overall pace and was slightly disappointed when I saw how long it took me to finish the run. But I was also pleased that I cared.

Tomorrow is the 4th of July and I get to spend the day with my family and enjoy a rare day off in the middle of the week. It's hot out, so I plan to get out early for my run. I won't think about it much until I'm out there but, once on the road, I'll be committed.

A friend of mine, who has run for decades, once told me, "Some day, you'll care much less about the gear and much more about the run." Runner's maturity? Maybe. However, that same friend recently got a Garmin 610 and won't stop talking about it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ready to refocus

Today's workout (elliptical): 25 minutes

It's been a very busy week for me and though I've put in the time and the miles, I feel a little disconnected from my running. Now that most of my week's distractions have passed, I'm hoping to refocus on my training goals. Tomorrow is the NYC Marathon Expo at the Jacob Javits Center and I'll try to get over there if I can. It's an amazing Expo, with no fee to get in and plenty of free samples (typically food, not running gear). Last year I was fortunate to see Greta Waitz who appeared at the Adidas booth and I shook hands with Bart Yasso, whose book I'd just read.

I'm planning to put in one or two distance runs this weekend to help get me ready for the 10K on the 13th. That race is coming up fast and I don't really feel prepared. The injuries from my fall are healing and I'm running well this week, so I'm hoping for a good experience on Saturday.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Inner peace at 4:00 AM

Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

My 4:00 AM runs are productive, not only from a conditioning perspective, but as a method of focusing on key items in my business or personal life. The world at 4:00 AM looks a lot like 6:00 AM, except that it's significantly quieter. Every morning when I go out to run I think about all the people in the houses that I pass. Most people are still sleeping and generally all the company I might have is the car that drives around throwing the New York Times onto driveways. It's peaceful and still and the stars are in bright focus. So for the many who ask why I run at that ungodly hour, this is why.

Sometimes you can't argue that additional rest yields better performance and that was the case today. Despite my trance-like state this morning, my legs that had only run five miles over the last three days moved me along 20 sec/mile faster than my usual morning pace. While I followed my route I thought through a business issue that I hadn't been able to address with the frenzy of the work day. I came back home happy with my run and decisive in my thoughts. It was only 4:30 and I still had the whole day ahead.

blogger templates | Webtalks