After a couple of days rest I decided to get out and try a pace run. The weather was great, some clouds, cool breeze, warm enough to really get warmed up. No pain today, but I did push my cardio level pretty good. A pace run is where you push yourself run run at your desired race pace. Since I’m focussing on running really long distance that pace seems really slow at 10min/mile or 6mph. To put that in context, my best 2 mile PT test run in the Army was 13:01, almost twice as fast as what I’m now using as a “race pace.” Now, on the other end of the spectrum, a 10 minute mile pace would have me finishing a marathon (26.2 miles) in about 4.5 hours, not a great time. But, it would put me at the finish line of a 50K(31 miles) a little over 5 hours, a very respectable time.
It works out well on paper, but, as with everything, the execution is a bit more difficult than that. I have found that as my distance increases I tend to slow down. I also tend to get into a groove or rut where it’s difficult to pick up the pace even when doing shorter runs. I’m going to try to include pace runs at least once a week as I increase my mileage to try to prevent this.
Put in another 6 miles today and added a log widget over in the right hand column. Today’s run was as much about my own mental health as anything else. Along with the annoying Runner’s Knee I also suffer from PTSD. This makes dealing with people and life in general very difficult at times, and this week has been one of those times. In the past I would just drink myself into blackout to deal with it. Now, I run.
I don’t know about “runner’s high”, never really get that feeling. But, running does help burn off anger and frustration if you push yourself hard enough. Today was one of those runs. I pushed myself to the point where I was getting signals from my knee that it had had about enough. Unfortunately, this early in resuming training I still have fairly good aerobic stamina so it’s the muscles that are holding me back. Even at that I felt better when I got done than when I started.
Maybe I’m missing something, but I’ve never really gotten a “high” from running. Not that I was ever seeking one, but you would thing after running up to 20 miles I’d have found it if my body was capable of producing that effect. What I do enjoy is the point where your physical fitness allows you to run for a good length of time (1-2 hours) without really having to think about it. It’s a point where the body does what it is supposed to do with you having to manage it consciously. Your arms, legs, and lungs just do what they need to be doing and your mind is free. Free to think over problems, enjoy the beauty around you, talk to God, whatever you need to think about. That for me is the goal, a Zen-like state while running.
While it may not be a “high” for me it is still an addictive sensation. One I want to repeat over and over. A big plus to this over drinking, watching TV, or any other way of zoning out is that it has tremendous benefits long after you are done. I’ve lost weight, my resting heart rate is in the 60″s, I can eat most anything I want. All of this does come at the price of pain, sweat and blood. But for me, it’s well worth it.
6 miles Monday night really hurt by Tuesday evening. I tried to get out and run out the stiffness, but only did about a mile with a lot of walking. Everything from my lower back to my ankles hurt. Today I was still pretty stiff when I wormed up. But, I made 2 miles of running at about a 15 minute mile pace. Tomorrow will be better yet. Just keep pushing forward little by little…I think I can, I think I can… 🙂
I know it sounds crazy, but I know this is going to hurt no matter how I do it. Kind of like taking off a Band-Aid… slow or fast? I am not a patient person, so fast has it. I’ve learned that for almost any workout routine it takes 4 days to get past the initial soreness and pain. This goes for weight lifting, swimming, biking and running. Getting through those 4 days is the key because your body is going to scream at you to stop. It’s easy to quit when it hurts, and easy to justify yourself too. Don’t do it, stick with it for at least 4 days, trust me. Learning the difference between good pain and bad pain is a part of running.
We are having perfect running weather here in SC this week, 40’s at night to low 60’s during the day. Loved getting back out on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. If you are in the area look me up and we’ll go running.
Started back running. Had enough of excuses… weather, work, short days. My mental state has been going down hill for a month or more as well. So, here’s my run info, a little over 6 miles at 5mph. Slow and painful. Knee hurt, always does when I start back no matter how much cross training I do. I would expect to start posting here regularly as I have a goal to reach this year and it’s going to take a lot of running to get ready for an Ultra. Stay tuned.