Getting out the door is the hardest part of running for me, especially in the winter. Actually, the hardest part may be standing around in the freezing cold waiting for the satellites to link up on my watch so I can start running…
I swear, sometimes it takes 20 minutes, sometimes I’ll turn my watch on and it gets a signal instantly. It doesn’t seem to matter how charged the battery is, how overcast the sky is…I can’t figure it out!
Today thankfully my watch decided to cooperate and kicked in just as I finished up my stretching. I save the static stretching for after the run and do a quick series of dynamic stretches before to warm up my arms, core and hip flexors.
I’m back on the weekend marathon schedule, which calls for a fast run Saturdays (between 8-13km) followed with a long run Sundays (19-32km as the season progresses). The method behind the madness is that it will get your legs used to running long distances when they’re already exhausted. Trust me when I say this works haha…eventually, your body does get used to it but the first few weeks are brutal. I’m not exactly looking forward to tomorrow’s long run BUT I’m going to trick myself into feeling pumped. Training for something is so much more mental than physical, huh?
Anyway, I’m happy with today’s run – I ended up going a little longer because, like I mentioned earlier, I want to end all my runs with a fast burst of speed up hill as preparation for the infamous Heartbreak Hill. So I did 7 miles (12 km) instead of 6 with…(mostly) negative splits!
My slowest mile was a loop around the ball diamond that was covered in snow, so I had to forge my own path through. I fantasized I was running through thick beach sand! 🙂 That’s what it felt like anyway. I was frustrated to have such a slow mile right in the middle but when I looked at the map of my route’s terrain it made sense. Best part are those negative splits for mile 5,6 and 7 and ending with my fastest mile. Speedwork is NOT my strength at all and it’s something I want to work on.
I also noticed I felt really strong throughout the run – no stiff/sore arms (like my previous run, on Thursday, when my arms felt like a ton of bricks!) or upset stomach or cramps. I felt like I could run forever! I think a big part was just being really well-rested from the night before and getting a solid 9 hours of sleep for the first time in the last few days. I also stayed away from fruits/veggies last night with my bedtime snack (that makes me sound like a 9 year old) and stuck with the classic peanut butter and bread times a million. Pre-run fueling is a tricky science and it’s so individual, but I’ve realized through trial and error that fruit and certain kinds of vegetables like carrots don’t sit well with me too soon before I run. And NOOO dairy! Lots of carbs (my fave) and a bit of fat seem to work best!
When I got home I stretched, foam rolled and did some core work. Now I’ve got to tackle a stack of stories for work. I know this blog has become VERY running-focused lately but I guess that’s the reality right now as my life shifts into Boston training. It helps to have a log of sorts where I can write about my runs and track my progress, mistakes, etc.
That being said, I have a few journalism-specific ideas floating around in my head that I want to get out, so I’ll try to balance the running with the reporting a bit more on here.
What’s your strength when it comes to running – distance or speed?
Favourite thing to eat before running? Anything that doesn’t work for you?
Hardest part about the run – finding the motivation to get out the door or the actual, you know, running part?