Monday’s run wasn’t quite as delightful as Saturday. Granted the weather was about 15 degrees warmer and it was late afternoon so I had a full day of eating and just general life happenings before embarking on my evening run.
I still managed to get three minutes at an 11 minute pace; completing 3.2 total miles. The beginning and the end of my run were pretty good. I felt like I had a good pace at the beginning but contending with traffic and people who don’t control their dogs very well during the bulk of the run got me out of the zone.
There was also a mishap of being hit by a drunkenly wayward cicada. Thankfully it hit my sunglasses or else I would probably still be laying unconscious on the sidewalk from the velocity and trajectory of the thing.
I realized as I dissected my run last night, I should probably find another route to run. My standard go to route is rather hilly, not Mt. Everest hilly but it’s not a particularly flat route either. For safety sake I need to mix up my route. Frederick is a smallish town, small enough that my routine would be recognized by those who chose to watch. While it is nice to know the exact fire hydrant that denotes my turn around point, sometimes not knowing where that turn around point is better.
The biggest reason I need to switch up my route is that I am getting bored. On the one hand, it’s easy to head out and know the turn by turn without much thought. It makes it easy when I get caught in an unexpected storm because Jesi knows where to find me. However, by the same token the monotony of the run makes it difficult to get excited. Part of my joy in running is seeing new things and taking in nature. My usual route of turn right, run, turn right, run, turn right, run…turn around and repeat only going left this time gets old. I see the same sites. The same weeds. The same traffic.
Also it allows me to get stuck in my head:
“I’m not going as fast as yesterday”
” This hill was so much easier on Tuesday”
“When did that (fill in the landmark) move further away, I got there in better time last week.”
My brain suddenly gets in the way of my run, which is part of what happened last night. Saturday was so amazing and I was joining that still lingering runners high with my usual performance and feel and ended up having a less than delightful run. I kept thinking about how heavy my foot fall was…..how hot it was….my headphones kept falling out of ears because I had ear sweat (yes there is a thing). I allowed myself to get frustrated with a collection of inconsequential events and permitted them to snowball to something that ultimately impacted the larger portion of my run.
Running home, on the section of the road where there wasn’t much traffic, I found it easier to focus on my pace. I was more able to allow my body to relax and I did feel some of the rhythm that I felt on Saturday. I was able to focus on mechanics but not in a way that left me frustrated that my run was a waste of time.
Thankfully, the run ended on a more positive note. And I tried to look at some of the other positives of the run:
- I made time to run by adjusting my run schedule because of school
- I am consistently maintaining a 10-11 minute mile pace, a two minute improvement over last year
- I am feeling better, stronger, more confident in my runs
- Most of all, I’m doing it
Tomorrow when I run I might take a left, instead of a right and see where it takes me. Perhaps trying a new route that holds no history is just the thing I need to do to shake things up. In the end the mental training is as equally important as the physical miles put on my feet. We’ll see what Wednesday’s miles bring.