Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fit Friday, Sunday, whatever day!

I don't seem to be getting my Fit Friday posts done in time for Friday.  But I decided to just post it anyways.  Maybe next week we will be back on schedule.

Today it's some random thoughts I've had on recent runs.

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I almost always run up a hill or incline.  My pace often slows down, but I figure it's still faster than if I decided to walk it.  If I'm feeling very winded at the top of a hill, that's when I'll choose to walk for 30 seconds or so.  Is that weird?  I feel like most people probably do the opposite.  But that's how my brain works--or what keeps me motivated.

This evening I was running a 4 mile route where the entire second mile is an incline.  It's not too steep, but running a mile uphill gets tiring.  Each time I would find myself slowing down, I would choose a landmark ahead of me and pick up the pace until I get to it.

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Speaking of picking up the pace, sometimes I find myself running too fast.  Or I'm getting too fatigued and I need a bit of a breather.  It happened tonight as I was running the third mile down that same slope, and again during the fourth mile as I was pressing in to get home.  Sure the first instinct is to take a walk break.  But I also find that if I lengthen my stride, it slows me down and I can breathe more deeply and I get the rest I need.  If I want to pick up my pace again, I'll shorten my stride and my knees drive a bit higher.

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A new goal or self-challenge can give you new motivation.  Sometimes I find myself wanting to skip shorter runs (I'm trying to follow some training schedules right now) because they have become routine.  I am blessed to live in an area that I can get 3-5 miles from outside my front door.  But I usually run the same route or two.

I've been running with my neighbor some and she likes a route I haven't done much--the one with the 1 mile incline.  We ran it last week and I realized I need to do it more often, because it's a new challenge.  My neighbor likes it because it's along two main streets in our area.  I tend to run more neighborhood streets, but I think that's because I know them since I lived in this area for 10 years prior.

So when I headed out this evening, I decided to do the different route and it was a nice change.  That 1 mile incline definitely challenges me in a new way, and I like it.  My average pace was up about 15 seconds.  So of course I'm going to try to shave that down in runs to come.

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Finally today, when you run can make a huge difference.  A morning run after a good nights sleep is my favorite. I'm strong, awake, vibrant and full of energy (once I get going that is!).  But a morning run isn't always an option for me, sometimes because I just can't get myself out of bed.

Sundays are a long day for me.  I'm at work by 7:30am and I spend time walking and being on my feet.  We went to an afternoon birthday party and I ran when we got home while Bean prepared dinner.  (Yes, he's the MAN!)  I felt rather blah.  I was tired before I even left, but I knew I'd still be happy I ran even if I didn't feel my best.

So, if you've had a long day and go for a run, don't be surprised if your performance isn't great.  Try to get in at least one morning run a week, even if it means "early to bed, early to rise."  During the summer, I can wake at 6am and run before Bean leaves for work.  Once the school year starts again, I'll have to get up at 5:30am to run on a workday.

I logged about 12 miles in the last 7 days.  Hoping for a few more than that next week.

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