Saturday, March 21, 2009

Return to Self

Aaaah - just a day of rest (ok maybe two if you count those pathetic three miles on Thursday) and everything feels so good again.

I went to meet the gang at the Governor's Cup this morning and was surprised to see such a big turn-out. I guess with the onset of spring, runners are coming out of hibernation. There were Saturdays in December where we only had four of five people!

I was ready for a nice easy long run, but Gordon says he and Terra were thinking about doing 3x15 tempo at 6:50. Whoa - that's way too fast for me today I tell him. "What do you mean? That's marathon pace." None of us are sub-three hour marathon runners, so I am not sure who's marathon pace he is talking about! No thanks, I tell him.

Well, fast Francis says he doesn't want any of that either; he was thinking hills. So I head out with Francis, the one guy who is a sub-three hour marathon runner. We do 45 minutes of hilly stuff ending with an ascent up Croissan Mountain (maybe that should be Croissan "Mountain" since it is only 665 ft elevation). And then we coast down to finish with a big loop in Minto-Brown - throwing in a couple of 6:55-7:00 minute miles in the flat section and then finished a bit slower for 17.75 miles in 2:14 (7:36). I joked that we did hills and tempo. But most importantly, I just felt GOOD. Running was easy and light and fun. I was floating and gliding and just feeling smooth - a total 180 from two days ago when I was miserable doing three easy miles.

It certainly underscores the importance of rest. I think I sometimes get caught up in what other people are doing instead of just focusing on my own thing and that doesn't serve any good purpose. I keep reading about all these guys doing 100+ mile weeks and thinking I am barely doing enough to get in 70 miles a week. It is good to remind myself that 70 miles a week is pretty extreme for me. I've been running for 20 years and up until 2009 I had never done even a 60 mile week. Despite striving for higher mileage, I think I have learned sometimes the best thing you can do is to not work out at all.

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