Friday, December 11, 2015

A Much Needed Run Without a Ton of Running...

So, I’m in this place right now where I’m not really training for anything. I’m more trying to train myself to understand my body. I’m feeling better enough that my brain wants me to DO EVERYTHING! But my body, doctor, and logical brain know that now is not the time to do all the things, even though I may want to.

I spent a lot of the fall volunteering at races I couldn’t run and I loved it. It was such a healing thing to be involved with the running and racing community even if I couldn’t partake in the running and racing so much. But frankly, I’m kind of tired of everyone else’s running. I’m ready to do some of my running.

And this weekend I did that.

I have been thinking a lot about ten miles. Ten miles…. It’s just a thing that I miss. And I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s just getting over that hill of single digits to double. But I’ve always loved a good ten miler. And last weekend, I wanted a ten miler.

With my health right now, there’s a lot of trial and error. If I don’t sleep well (thanks for the 3am wake up adrenal glands) or feel “off”, I really need to pay attention to it and change my plans accordingly. This means that every run, walk, or trip the gym is a grand experiment. I often think that all my years of marathon and ultra training and learning to “push through” have really screwed me over in this department. Am I blowing something off? Am I being paranoid? I’m trying to figure it out, but it ain’t easy.

Back to this weekend…

Our local weather had a “frozen fog” warning which was bizarre, but I figured I head out in the morning and just take my time on the drive. I had planned to do a standard route I do on the trails where you can easily run 7-10 miles depending on adding or dropping trails, but the more I thought about it, the more my mind changed.

Because to be honest I was a nervous wreck about this run and I could just see myself bailing out of the ten miles due to fear. So, at the last minute I changed my mind and decided to do a much more challenging route that contained less opportunity to bail. And the hills + plus me trying to keep my heartrate in the 140 range would take the pressure off time expectations.

But I still had time expectations…

When I got going I started mathing….

- if I go this fast it’ll take me this long

-if I go this slow it’ll take me this long

-if I ignore my heartrate and go a little faster I could get it done in this long

Needless to say the first few miles were not fun. Here I was trying a distance that I haven’t run in about 5 months and I’m stressing out about time.

I’ve been meditating a lot and just started working on a self-esteem meditation that teaches you to “excuse” the negative or distracting thoughts that pop up. So I tried it.

And it was good.

Before I knew it I was noticing how amazing the trails looked with a frosty fog on them. All of the spider webs were covered in frost and it looked like tiny tree garlands on  every twig. I was smiling the biggest dopiest smile and loving every minute of it. I let go of time stresses. I had all freaking day, what’s the rush? I walked and smiled and took pictures and smiled.

My average pace for the “run” was almost 20 minute miles. I swear I ran parts of it, but when my heart rate told me that this route was entirely uphill (not really just felt that way at times) and I would be walking over half of it, I said, fine by me. And it was super awesome.

A morning for me spent in the woods “excusing” my self-trash-talking mind was just what the doctor ordered for that day. Probably not for everyday right now. But for that day, it was perfect.