Wednesday, July 2, 2008

0 Run 3, Week 3 (BOHR): Night Time Is The Right Time... to Run!


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Stats:
Start Time: 10:13 pm (6.5-minute warm-up walk began at 10:04 pm)
Temperature: 73 degrees (Fahrenheit)
Humidity: 51%
Distance: 2.96 mi (4 laps around lake)
Time: 31:36 min
Pace: 10:40:32 minute-mile

Wow-o-wow-o-wow, I can't believe I just ran my fastest 3-miler time yet this year! It's especially unusual & unexpected, as I'd recently been feeling rather ragged over the last few days & was in recovery mode (i.e., no running since Friday) after all the excitement & activity (& the lack of sleep!) from this past weekend.

[As a direct result, I felt like I was on the verge of getting sick over the last few days. In my case, coughing, a cold, & a tingling sore throat often means bronchial/respiratory trouble's on the way. I tried to stave it off with several preventative health-care measures: temporarily avoiding dairy, consuming healthy & nutritious foods, (particularly fruits & vegetables with restorative properties), taking vitamins, sleeping as much as possible, & drinking lots of water & medicinal, herbal tea! Fingers crossed....]

So for these reasons, it was particularly amazing that I was able to pull such a surprisingly good run out of my "bag o' tricks" tonight. Don't ask me where it came from.

The start of my workout was certainly no indication either; it began with me grumbling to Erik (who accompanied me to the lake earlier tonight) that I was still very tired, had zero inclination to run, & that my throat was still sore.

And then, of course, not long after the rapid-fire ranting came the bargaining with myself: Maybe I could just walk 5 more minutes before running. Ahhhh, walking in this cool breeze feels so good. A little too good, in fact. Wait, maybe I could just walk the whole thing instead. I don't really feel like running tonight anyhow. After all, I'm on the edge of exhaustion already. Better not push it lest I end up getting sick & not being able to run. I can always pick up my running tomorrow instead. Etc., etc.

Of course, I usually don't give in to these sort of mental shenanigans in the end, (atleast not since the moment I re-entered "exercise mode" & am now super-motivated to run!), but sometimes my brain goes through the motions anyhow (because I sometimes feel the need to play out all of the possible scenarios, & that sometimes includes the idea of "babying" myself!), just to get some temporary relief. ;-)

Simply put, my point is that it's absolutely amazing how easy it is to move beyond the weaker choices & make a proper decision, once you've allowed yourself the freedom & space to consider all the alternatives without judgment or self-reproach.

Even so, Erik was there to hear all of my rationalizations, & from his responses, it was clear that, regardless of the above factors, he wasn't about to let me get away with that sort of behavior tonight. ;-)

Of course, he said that I'd just feel guilty & disappointed in myself if I didn't run (he knows me all too well!), & that my workout would go faster if I just run (instead of walk)! So true.

He also used a trick that I often used to use with my running buddy: "Just run the first two laps & see how you feel. If you don't feel good, then by all means, stop & walk."

Of course, once I get started, it's not likely that I'll end up walking. ;-) But it's the getting started part that can often be the tricky part, especially when my mind is convinced that my body is better off with one more day of resting & taking it easy. ;-)

Of course, I knew I was going to end up running anyhow, but it was just a question of how long my mind would take to accept that fact. ;-)

And it was certainly nice to have Erik there in my corner tonight, for extra reinforcement. It would have all-too-easy to just give in & say, "Oh, I'm so tired. Blah, blah, blah."

Sometimes I swear he's like Paulie to my Rocky. ;-) And it's Round 8. Ding, ding!

-C

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Some footnotes: Although Erik had already run earlier this morning, he agreed to keep me company at the lake tonight, walking in the opposite direction as I ran. We high-fived each other every time our paths crossed, which was a fun & motivational boost! ;-)

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I felt amazingly good tonight. Surprisingly strong & cardiovascularly fit. At the end of tonight's run, I still felt like I had something left to give. I didn't even take my usual stretching break at the midpoint. I just kept going & didn't tire. I was absolutely shocked at how much energy I still had left on the last two laps. Whoah. Who knows, I might've been able to run even faster if I'd gone all out. ;-) It's very likely.

Also, I can definitely tell that I'm getting stronger. All I have to do is look at my body & it tells the real story: My arms have gotten leaner & more defined & my leg muscles have tightened considerably. I even notice weekly differences, which is really weird because it's usually very difficult to discern these sort of incremental variances.

Apparently, these long, "slow" runs are doing wonders for my physique; and the result is a sublime body confidence. The fat seems to be just melting away & what's left is muscle definition. All of these results have been achieved through commitment, a relaxed focus on the essentials, & the continual application of effort + intent.

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Of course, I still need to incorporate core strength into my workouts. On that note, I'm finding it's easier to gradually incorporate additional workout elements into the overall plan to allow for each segment to slowly become an ingrained part of my weekly workouts, instead of becoming easily overwhelmed by trying to do or fit in everything all at once. I highly recommend this "gradual acclimation" method, as it gives a person's mind & body to adjust to all of the necessary changes. And it's certainly a proven formula for success!

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One final note: I got new sneakers today! Of course I took them for a spin for the first time during tonight's run. Wow, my feet felt about 10 pounds lighter! Maybe that's why I ran so fast tonight. ;-)

More on the new sneakers & my related findings in my next post.......

Have a good night!

-C

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