Ebb and flow, the fear and doubt assuaged… for now

I did tomorrow’s 4 mile run this morning, because work is a pain in the ass and I needed to get some stuff done early this morning (and I’m guessing tomorrow too). On the weekends, I’m Mr. Mom, which means it’s just me and the 21 month old from 6am-~8pm. That’s a situation that’s not exactly conducive to coding with the best of requirements, much less with what I have to go on. Of course, it’d be nice to know about the task before 10pm Friday night when the expectation is that I’ll be done by 1pm the next day, which, by the way, is a SATURDAY! Anyway, I’m straying from the point…

I felt pretty good on this morning’s run. Nothing like yesterday where all I wanted to do was stop. I think I did better regulating my pace from the start, which may be a part of the issue. I guess I need to start checking on the mile splits, to see if I’m starting way fast and crawling across the finish line. Today’s pace was 7:50 per mile, which is only a few seconds slower than yesterday, with an extra mile thrown in.

It’s not the different course, the first 2.25 miles are exactly the same, as is the last .75 miles, so it’s weird. I guess there will be ups and downs. I guess there always were, but time has erased those memories.

Onto a different topic, I’m doing a pretty poor job of keeping my “running log” updated. I think the main issue is I’m pulling that out of my iCal calendar on my work laptop, but 95% of the time when I’m messing with this blog I’m doing it on my personal machine. Yea, it’d be easy enough to port it over, but I’m lazy.

I’ve also been tracking things on mapymyrun.com with the intention of writing a cron to pull the rss feed and transform it with an XSLT, dumping the output I want on the file system here, so I don’t have to keep track of things in two places, but I just haven’t had time to do that. That way, the formatting will be nicer than I’m able to do parsing iCal output, and I save myself some work in the end. It’s that old “sharpen the saw” adage at work again. I’ll get to it eventually, like probably after the first couple of weeks of November.

Well, I’m rambling, so I’ll stop now.

Fear and doubt

I went for my 3 mile run this morning, and even though it was more than 20 degrees cooler than my 3 mile run on Tuesday, I ran it 7 seconds/per mile slower, and felt like I was struggling more than I was earlier in the week. I have no idea why there would be such a drastic difference between the two runs.

I wonder if it has to do with the early hour, so my body isn’t really awake and I haven’t put any fuel in the tank for a while or if it’s fatigue, being at the end of the week and having lifted weights 10 hours earlier. Weird. I hope Sunday’s 4 mile run isn’t such a struggle.

I used to relish in the struggle. I prided myself on being able to endure more pain than other people and I believe that’s why I was able to consistently run at a pace good enough to beat most of the pack over longish distances. However, after the way I felt this morning, I’m not sure I still have that love of the fight in me. I hope I do, but so far I’m not feeling it. Jason, over at Recast in Iron had a great post earlier this week that really resonated with me. It reminded me of why I used to love being a runner, and inspired me to go out and run in the afternoon heat rather than pushing my schedule, but today, for the first time since I started running again, I began to really question if I have what it takes to be a runner again.

I’m sure we all have days like this, and I’m sure I’ll get through it, just like I did during the run, but ugh! During the middle of a run when I’m struggling like that, I find myself repeating things like, “it’s supposed to hurt like hell” or “if it were easy, everyone would do it” and for the most part that seems to work. I really hope I don’t have to fall back on that too much in the coming weeks, or I may be going back more HIIT and less running for the pleasure of running. Sure, HIIT hurts like hell too, but it’s finite and doesn’t require me to get up way too early in the morning and run in the dark :)

I’m sorry, I lied to you, kinda

Well, I didn’t get up and run this morning because I ended up doing my two miles yesterday after work. I hadn’t planned it, like I said, it was going to be a rest day, but I got home to find that the wife and the boy had gone to visit a friend and her new baby, and since I certainly didn’t feel like mowing the grass I went for a run. I did a shade over two miles at a pace of 7:17 per mile in 85 degree heat. Not stellar, but for someone that just got back in the game I guess I’ll take it. Anyway, I’m sorry I lied to you, I just thought you should know it wasn’t intentional, it just sort of happened.

Today, after work is strength training, then tomorrow AM is a 3 mile run. Saturday is some sort of cross training (I have to figure out what I’m going to do, and am willing to take suggestions) then Sunday is a 4 mile run. Good times.

Being flexible

Well, as I told you yesterday morning, I just couldn’t drag my ass out of bed at 4:30am on the first day back from vacation, so I postponed my 3 mile run. I ended up doing it yesterday afternoon at 5pm, and man oh man was it hot.

On the thermometer it was only about 15 degrees warmer than what I’ve been training in, but when you add the element of the sun beating down on you when you’re not used to it, that makes a difference, even if it’s only psychological. I ended up doing my 3 miles on a moderately hilly course, running 7:37 miles, which I guess is okay for someone that’s just getting back in the game, but I was suffering by the end.

To get back on track for the week, I’d planned on getting up and doing my 2 miles this week, but once I got up and moving around that just didn’t feel like a good idea. There was some tightness in my legs, and while I’m fairly certain I could have gone out and ran the 2 miles without hurting myself, I didn’t really see any reason to risk it. It’s probably not wise for a beginner to do two training runs less than 12 hours apart, and I have a rest day I can shuffle around so I’m going to try to finish out the week being somewhat flexible. As long as I get my miles in, I’ll consider it a success. I worry that my body will adapt to not getting up so damn early, so I’m going to call today my rest day. I’m not going to sneak in my two miles after work, I’m just going to get up early tomorrow and Friday for my scheduled 2 and 3 mile runs. At least that’s the plan at the moment, things may change when I get home and I may decide I can pull off the 2 miler and the 3 miler within 12 hours :) Nah, I’ll stick to my guns, today there is to be no running… probably

The day the lazy got the better of me

For the first time in the past 4 months, I let lazy get the better of me and I didn’t go running this morning. I don’t know what the deal was, I just couldn’t bear the thought of getting out of the bed when 4:30am rolled around. I blame it on the week off and the end of vacation beers I had yesterday afternoon. It’s not like I was hung over or anything, I just really didn’t want to get the day started. I think I saw every hour on the clock last night and I kept thinking about all the crap that’s probably piled up at work waiting on me and just didn’t want to have to acknowledge it.

Terrible. It’s not the end of the world, but now I have to come up with a good strategy for getting my miles in this week, since after all, I guess that’s what really matters. I’m not sure if it’s better to just call today a wash, and run Wed-Sun, or try to run in the afternoon heat and suck it up in the morning, running twice within 12 hours but getting Friday off. Decisions decisions. Grrr, why’d I have to be so damn lazy this morning? So much for Saturday’s 4 miler being a seminal moment.