To be honest, not every long run is long

I’ve been slacking. I’ve been slacking on my training schedule and on Sunday, I felt it. It hurt.

According to my training schedule from my Coach, my Sunday long runs need to be between 15kms and 18kms. But I’ve only been running a maximum of 10kms on Sundays. In my head, I’ve been telling myself that 10kms is still pretty good. I mean, it’s Winter and I’m out there, running, way more than I typically run during Winter. I was doing good, right?

There are a couple of half marathon races coming up in August so I decided to do a proper long run on Sunday. The plan was 15kms. Off I trekked with the Randburg Harriers Sunday running group, route map in hand, fresh legs, big smile. It went well until we hit the 13kms mark. Then it started to hurt. Big time!

Regardless of the weekday track sessions and Thursday 8km time trials, I knew in my head that I had not run that far in ages. And I felt it. I dawned on me that I had not been following my training schedule properly and that even though 10kms was a great distance, it wasn’t helping my goals of running my 21km races any faster. I was so not prepared for the distance.

My legs felt tired for the rest of the day (such an awesome feeling though) and I could feel the run had been some good training on my whole body. But no more short runs. I need to get back into it and be more disciplined. Spring is coming! Thank goodness too because things are so much easier in the Summer. Especially running.

discipline

Relaxing on the run

When we’re not out running a race, I dedicate my Sunday runs to long, slow, drawn-out distances (more commonly known as LSD’s). It’s a time to be by myself, get time on my feet and just relax. But on my run this morning, I began to notice how tense I was. When I walked the dreaded hill up passed Cumberland, I felt incredibly guilty for walking. As I headed down the beautiful tree-lined Elgin Road, I kept checking my watch and calculating time. What for?

I eventually stopped, breathed and re-examined why I was out running in the first place. It wasn’t to get a PB, so why the rush? It wasn’t to do any speed work or hill training, so why the guilt? I consciously had to slow down and start my run over again, ensuring I was doing so with the right frame of mind as I ran.

I found today’s experience similar to when I go for a spa treatment. Numerous times throughout the session, I have to actually tell myself to relax. And when I do, I can feel my body calming down and unwinding, but I need to do this a few times. It seems as if I’m constantly wired and uptight. Relaxing does not come easy to me.

Is it just me or does anyone else feel as if the lives we live today have become so stressful, so tense that we are in a 24/7 state of anxiety and tension?

Running definitely allows me to release some of that worked up tension and really gives me the time and space to think (and over think) everything that’s going on in my head. But every now & then, it’s good to stop and examine the reasons for doing something in the first place.

So as I stood on the pavement and took a deep breath, I slowly started running again. I promised myself that my Sunday runs were all about me giving back to my body and to relaxing my mind. But mostly to be out there enjoying myself.

Just run

I must say, the rest of my run went much better. I decided that although I love posting my runs to Strava & Facebook, it might help to leave the watch at home every now and then. If only to relax while I run.

(Image: http://thoughtsandpavement.com/tag/runner/)