Wednesday, April 7, 2010

running alone

after surviving last week, and recovering, i'm back to training. i squeaked out some runs at the end of last week to pull together 30 miles. i had some great runs too. and i did half of them alone.

after running with ginny on wednesday, i met a couple of girls for 10 friday morning. of course, the day i don't have my garmin is the day i wish i did. we ran a nice pace, but i don't know what it was. i'm terrible at knowing pace without my garmin. i had planned to run with another girl saturday morning, but the threat of thunderstorms held us off. it was nice to sleep in and be completely lazy for half the day. later that day, i got out and ran my old 8 mile route that goes from my front porch and back. this route is half hills and half flat (with some small inclines), and those hill are TOUGH! i love this course. i hit it as hard as i could, and right now, that's not too hard, but i was proud of the run and my effort. i told myself, i'm never going to get back in the kind of shape i want to be in if i don't get out the door and do the miles. and the kind of miles i need. sunday, i went out for 4 miles easy. that was tough because i had been with my family eating lots of good food, lots of candy, and napping. but i did it. my legs were tired, but the run was good for them.

the thing i've been telling msyelf lately is not having someone to run with is no excuse to not go. i used to run alone all the time before i met so many of my great running friends. after that, i got spoiled and dependent. i also know that i often run better when i'm alone. i'm more apt to push harder, and there are no excuses when you're alone, no one to blame. so, as i move forward with my goals, i will have to run alone more than i have been. i'm ok with that!

last night was a true test though. i knew during the day that my legs felt weak and dead. i could tell when i walked up and down the stairs at work. i had planned to run the 8 mile route again, and i started to dread it. but as soon as that dread and apprehension popped into my mind, i reminded myself, skipping or changing the plan to something easier will get you nowhere. so i went. maybe i should have amended my plan and cut the mileage back to 5 or 6 after all. my legs were dead when i started and more dead when i finished. often i start a run and think, this is going to suck, only to have it end up being fantastic (mind games). not yesterday. i managed to keep my average pace under 10 min., but only barely at 9:50. that did include several short walk breaks, after i drug myself up the hills. it's a fine line between pushing and hurting yourself. yesterday was a great mental battle and victory. physically, i probably should have altered my run, or saved it. i ran steady, and ran all the hills the best i could, but my gas tank was on fumes. i was giving all it had without getting much back. just one of those days. but, i did it. i hope i have enough to finish my plan for the week, which includes 6 today on flat ground for sure!

running alone has its pros and cons. the cons are you're alone, no one to motivate, no accountability partner, no one to make you laugh, etc. the pros are that you did it without any help, no one to hold you back (or for you to hold back), no excuses, you can run any plan you want, and you can say you did it! for me, running alone is great for the mind because unless you're a total social runner or have a partner who is completely in sync with you, on race day, it's just you out there, good day or bad. i want the ability to go if i can or hold back if i have to. also, at the end of hard, successful run that i did on my own, my sense of accomplishment is so great. i am pumped!

i expect to have plenty of runs with friends, but i also plan to run just as many alone. because that is what will get me to boston. me.

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