I am finally feeling like a “real” runner again and by real I mean consistently running as opposed to sporadically fitting it into my schedule. I find that running three times a week seems to suit me best. It’s often enough to develop and maintain a base and enable me to begin training for races if I desire. It’s infrequent enough to allow me to enjoy other activities and let my body recover particularly from longer runs.
Monday was not an ideal day for running. In fact the weatherman was issuing warnings for the young and old and those with health concerns. The temperature topped 90 and the heat index pushed over 100. I didn’t plan to run to “be tough”, but rather because I just really wanted to get a run in that day. I wanted to drop off a piece of strawberry shortcake to my dad that I made over the weekend and pick up an old computer from his house. Given the house’s proximity to Sam Lewis State Park I decided that would be a better location for my run than anywhere else in the area.
My original plan was to run some “speed loops” in the woods. Upon arriving at the park and realizing just how disgusting the humidity was, I quickly changed my mind and decided running 3 miles with breaks throughout would be my better option. Over the weekend I had bought the watermelon strawberry BodyArmor sports drink, and I kept it by the front of my car. I set out at an easy pace along the main road through the park then turned off onto a gravel path to loop back across the grass and return to my car. It turned out to be exactly a half mile which will serve useful in the future if I do get around to completing some speed work. I then headed down into the woods to track the distance of the loop in there. It was .4 miles. I alternated the two loops, stopping at my car for a drink after each, until I reached my 3 miles. I was glad I had brought a towel to use when I was finished as I certainly sweated even more while stretching than I had while running. Overall I think it was my best “hot run” I’ve ever completed in terms of not feeling bad or dehydrated later in the evening.
Wednesday evening I was back with my regular running group after missing a week due to a Citizens Climate Lobby meeting. The weather wasn’t nearly as bad as it was on Monday, but it was humid nonetheless. Tis the time of year around here for that, and while I hate feeling sticky it’s better than feeling cold. The group consisted of myself, my dad, Todd and Armand. Scott didn’t join us as he had ran a 100 miler in Wyoming over the weekend. How he enjoys those is beyond my comprehension. Armand was glad to see me as we run roughly the same pace. He and I stuck together while dad and Todd ran about a quarter mile ahead of us. We did our “perimeter run” which is basically along the river and the outskirts of town. The run was just shy of 4.5 miles so Armand and I ran until my Garmin hit the official 4.5. I am happy to report that after playing with the settings yet again on my Garmin it is once again chiming at each mile split. Dad and Todd ran enough to get 5 miles.
Today I was monitoring the weather knowing there was a chance of showers. I had decided if it wasn’t raining when I left the office that I would run since tomorrow’s forecast shows an even greater chance for rain. I don’t mind running in the rain if it’s warm, but heavy rain equates to heavy shoes which annoy me. I called my dad on a whim to see if he wanted to join me for my 6 mile loop and he did. We ran at a comfortable pace, talking the whole time, and Blymire hill didn’t feel hard. This surprised me since I haven’t ran any large hills in quite a long time. The high school stadium’s bathrooms were unlocked so we were able to get a drink of water before heading back to my house. The rain arrived with less than a half mile to go and felt refreshing. We finished in 1:01 which was good enough for me given it was my longest run since I finished the winter series.
I’m starting to scope out some potential races. There is a 5k in July I haven’t raced since 2008 that I wouldn’t mind running again. I was also looking at some half marathons for the fall. I think it’s a tad too soon to commit to anything as I’m not running quite as fast as I’d like to be in order to race, but my consistency is back and that’s a start!