Ready to Run: I Ran 4 Miles
I ran 4 miles! I did it!
I’ve completed the 2nd week of my training for the 3.5 mile Corporate Challenge and with that comes the 2nd long run. I’ve got to tell you that when I run after work it is so different from running on a Saturday morning. After work the runs are hard. My muscles feel stiff, my lungs feel tight, and my pace is much slower. On Saturday morning, typically the morning of my long run, I feel good, strong, and like I could keep running forever.
There are 2 big differences between these runs. The first is location.
After work I run in my neighborhood. All around my apartment I’m either going up hill or downhill. There doesn’t seem to be any flat areas. There are other places I could run, but I’d have to drive there and driving around after work is a total nightmare with rush hour.
On Saturdays, I drive to Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, MA. It has a 3 mile perimeter which is just perfect. And when I need a longer run, I circle back through one of the cemeteries and around the softball field and it adds another mile. (or when I”m training for something crazy like a 10K, or a 10 mile, well…I can run around it twice!). Anyway…the path around the lake does have it’s slight hills and declines but there are some good flat stretches where I can really pick up the speed and push myself.
The 2nd big difference has been the temperatures.
Normally a dreary Saturday morning in May isn’t something to look forward to. But a cooler start means less people are likely to go to the lake so its not as crowded and it’s much easier on the body. Remember, once you start running it will feel 15 degrees warmer than the actual air. 60 degrees is the perfect run for me.
Lately it’s been nice and warm after work which I just love. But if its 75 after work and you add 15 degrees…well that’s like doing a run in 90 degree heat. Which is hard. Believe me…I lived and trained for 2 half marathons in Dallas!
So if you’re seeing some inconsistencies in your times, don’t sweat it!
Take a look at the different elements between your runs and start to see some patterns. Look at the time of day, what you eat before hand, how much water you’ve had to drink leading up to the run, the terrain, the weather, what you’re wearing etc. Then start to figure out what works for you and try to get rid of the stuff that doesn’t.
Listen, it would be great to drive over to the lake and get a 3 mile run in before work but that just isn’t my reality. Not now anyway ;) So I’ll take the runs that I can get and know not to judge myself on every run (which come on…we really shouldn’t be doing anyway)!