Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ruminations on Running and Racing

Sunday Morning Clouds

Still in Love

Post-Run Breakfast

Week of June 10, 2012:

Friday: Off

Saturday: Bike ride commute to the lab and to the hippie food store for groceries

Week of June 17, 2012:

Sunday: Long, ass-kicking run!

The Solstice Run 10K is almost upon us, friends!  Now, I know that most of you are probably not running this race, but perhaps you have some empathetic excitement for me and my first 10K experience.  I know I get excited for other people when they are pumped for their race, and let me tell you: I am pumped.

You may recall that I’ve been a bit worried about my performance in this race.  It’s been hard for me to adjust to the heat and humidity of running outside during a Texas summer, and I’ve had moments of doubt about my ability to be a decent race participant.  I don’t consider myself to be a serious runner, but I do consider myself to be thoughtful about my budget, and it just doesn’t make sense to sign up for races unless you are going to do the training.  So I suppose it is by racing that I become a serious runner.  In other words, I run because I enjoy what running brings to my life, but I recognize that my love for running has peaks and valleys.  And I’m okay with that.  My approach to running has its benefits, such as my low injury rate, good performances in half-marathons in the past three years, and the way that running with JD when I’m in Michigan has given us time to spend together and brought a better sense of balance to my vacations.

Running makes me happy.  It’s that simple.

After struggling through several runs recently, my body seems to have acclimated to the weather and, for my long runs, I’m heading out earlier in the morning.  It’s still hard to run outside, but the challenge is worth it.  I just feel so good afterward.  Today I was out the door before 9 AM for 60 minutes on foot.  My friend Tom, who works in my department and used to be a personal trainer(!), offered me a little weeklong training guide for the days leading up to the race.  For today, he recommended that I do several miles of my long run, then throw in some surges to simulate a race to the finish line during the 10K.  I chose to run for 40 minutes (about four miles) then started doing 3-minute intervals of 30 seconds fast, followed by 2.5 minutes of recovery.  My fast pace was fast enough to feel speedy, but it was not an all-out sprint.  I did that five times, then finished up the final bit of my run at a slow-ish pace.  It was a great work-out, and at the end, I was really spent.  Hopefully today’s hard work-out is putting fuel in the tank for next weekend.  I feel ready for a great race.

Have a good week, my dears!  Have fun out there.

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