Friday, December 17, 2010

Running, Can it Truly Be Fun?

Okay, so maybe today is a funny day for me to be writing about running. Or maybe it isn’t seeing as if the weather were a bit better outside I would be running rather than writing. That thought process is starting to turn into one of those guys looking in a mirror at a guy looking in a mirror etc….

Anyway, running and me aren’t always the best of friends. Usually I see it as a bit of a chore, one that needs to be done or why bother trying to compete in Tri’s and Du's. Running hurts. Running never gets me that far from home like cycling does. And running in the winter can be hazardous at best. 

I started running close to three years ago (give or take). It was really just an idea I had to do a little cross training off the bike. I would run 1 or 2 kms or (as I would say) for a good solid 15 minutes. I tried the whole run 10 walk 1 thing. That didn’t work as it meant looking at my watch a lot. My feet and legs would hurt and I would come back into my house sweaty with very little reward. Still on I went.

Then I tried my first Du 3 years ago. It was in Riverport, NS and I showed up never having run more than 3 kms at one time. This was going to be tough for me with two 4km runs to complete and me in a 10 year old pair of squash shoes. Needless to say I hurt for days after that and didn’t run again until the following Spring when I foolishly signed up for the Bluenose 10K run.

Fast forward to now. My running training has increased. But I have still being classifying myself as a short distance runner, with speed being my main focus. Long running distances (anything above 10K) seemed too much. But I figured I needed a bit of a change and began training for a half marathon next season.

Now I am not on a structured plan at the moment. I am really just trying to get some base miles (kms) in and get my legs used to running for more than 50 minutes at a time or so. What used to be my weekly 5 km runs have changed to 8-10 km runs. And what was my “long” run of 10-11 kms has become my new epic journey. Last weekend I managed a 19Km run for the first time ever.

Now as I said this is base training. I am sticking to a comfy pace 9for me) or around 5:15 kms. And this has been great. In fact so great that after I get warmed up a bit I really like running. By km 3 or so my legs lighten up, my breathing calms down and I relax. By km 8-9 when I turn around to come home I feel just as good and don’t get tired until I reach my house.

So it turns out I pigeon holed myself into the short distances and turns out I might just be more suited to the longer runs. Maybe, who knows until I try some, especially at speed. But until then I think I will really enjoy the idea of the long slow run (not to mention my new New Balance 759’s in place of those old squash shoes). Perhaps we can head out for one of these long slow runs before the winter obscures my running path too much. 

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