Truckin’

I’ve had some good runs lately – and some good learnings.

Now that my feet have healed, I don’t have to fuss and fret so much about the frequency, distance, and pace of my runs. I simply head out the door and run. That said, I’m still holding to a sense of discipline about what I do. As I’ve noted in previous posts, I have a tendency to cheerful extremism, in the sense that, once I’m feeling good about something, I tend to go a little overboard. (That’s an understatement, folks.)

When all is going well – psychologically as well as physically – I manage to find a nice balance between gung ho and overly mellow. That’s what this past week has been like. I’ve done some comfortably longer runs between 10K and 12K, but I’ve held my pace down to LSD (Long Slow Distance) norms. On the whole, that’s meant moving along nicely, upping my distance thresholds without screwing anything up, and finishing with a nice sense of accomplishment.

Even when the run itself hasn’t been stellar (Monday’s 12K run, for example), the experience has been worthwhile. What happened on Monday was this… I’d done tempo-paced 10.5K runs on each of the previous days, and then had, on Sunday afternoon, a typically exhausting few hours visiting with my parents. Slept OK on Sunday night, but knew on waking on Monday morning that I had little or no gas in the tank. But in the cause of this ongoing “experiment of one,” I decided to go out on the 12K run I’d been looking forward to.

It was a nice morning – 16C, sunny, and just a little bit humid – and nice and quiet in my neighbourhood. (How many people, after all, are going to be thronging the sidewalks early on the Monday morning of a long weekend?) And I was prudent, really I was. A very slow 7:00 mins/km pace, lots of checking in to see that all was well on the inside, and the conscious intent to simply muddle along. And it paid off, because a/ I finished the run without any observable mishaps, b/ I enjoyed a pleasant, quiet, holiday morning, and c/ I think I learned something about letting my energy levels hold me down to something reasonable.

Can’t be laid back all the time, though. I’m doing a half marathon in just under two weeks, and I really haven’t trained properly for it. So I have to up the distance, up the pace, and stay mindful of staying within my limits.

Keep on truckin’, indeed. But this is “old animal” truckin’, for sure…

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