This was a running blog, not just life goals blog, at some point, yes? Some (disorganized) thoughts on how running has been going lately:
Running longer and consistently is making me faster. Which makes completely perfect sense...yet I still didn’t expect it. I assumed I would get more tired or wouldn’t see significant gains since I’m not doing any hard or consistent speedwork. But it’s there: my paces are getting faster; longer distances are feeling easier. Yay improvement!
That being said...I feel like I’m at a good place, mileage- and frequency-wise, and will probably hold here around 20-25 miles/week. I can’t imagine running more than four days a week--or rather, I can, but I can’t see it being beneficial for me. I feel like I barely have enough time to squeeze in all of the cross-training I want to/should do now, and I think I’d be starting to invite injury. I don’t really have any desire to do a marathon (ever), so I think this is sufficient mileage to stay at for...a while. I could see getting above 25 miles/week for half-marathon training, but beyond that, I’ll probably chill here!
Speaking of a half-marathon...I’m toying with the idea of doing one after my 10-miler. The 10-miler is in early April, and the half is on June 1. I think it is doable to basically just keep increasing my long run mileage until then. I’m going to hold off on signing up until after the 10-miler, just to see how I’m feeling physically and mentally. I’m inclined to do it because a) I have the mileage base that I’d want for a half currently built up and b) I don’t want to train for a half-marathon in the DC heat of July/August (for a fall half).
Despite all of my general excitement about getting faster and nice weather, etc., I've been having a little trouble getting motivated to run lately. I always end up getting out the door (with a few helpful "you'll feel better if you do" reminders from Dan!), but I'm dragging my feet not wanting to go. I'm guessing it is related to the fact that I already have done a (spoiler alert!) a ten-miler, but I'm still a month out from my race. I'm mentally ready to start building for the next challenge (half!), but scared physically to move on, fearful that I'll push my body too hard and not be able to finish the 10-miler. So I'm finding myself craving cross-training more, where there are new poses to tackle in yoga and new weights to lift at the gym. Which I suppose is not a bad thing! And ultimately, when I do finally get my butt out the door to run, I do end up feeling great afterwards, and I mostly enjoy it while I'm running too (at least after the first two miles--why do they always feel like death?!).
Other random running things
Um--I don’t fuel or hydrate while running. It only recently occurred to me that this might be an issue, as I’m starting to run double digits and temperatures will increase soon. The blackhole of internet advice seems to recommend “fueling” (aka taking Gu or something else) for a run anywhere from 60 minutes to only on runs upwards of 18 miles, so...totally unhelpful. I think I probably can skip fueling for now though, since I've been running okay without it. Hydration, however, seems to be generally agreed on as “necessary”, no matter the run length. I don’t know--I drink tons of water all day, and then pound water or Nuun* after a run, and I realllyyyy hate carrying water while I run...sooo I’m thinking I’m going to stick with what I know for now. At least until after the race.
I’m going to miss winter running. As pleasant as the nice temperatures have been, there was something so nice about being out there solo in the cold. My usual paths are starting to fill up again as it warms up. Plus, pockets! Man, I really miss my jacket pockets when I don’t need the extra layer. I guess I need to get one of those belt contraptions to carry my phone/keys/etc. in, but my jacket was so much more convenient! [All of this said with the caveat of living in Virginia--where winter running is not real winter running!]
*I was surprised how much I like Nuun. Pleasant tasting but not so sugary/caloric that it makes me feel ill. Basically just tasty electrolyte water--aka perfect for after a longer run.