Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Easy or Pointless?

Do you ever feel like you are out for a 'training' run that has no point.   This morning I went out for a run, it ended up being 5.5 miles, but it was kind of aimless.   It wasn't a recovery after a long run or intervals, it wasn't a tempo run, it wasn't really anything other than a nice easy run.   Let me explain how I got here.

Last Thursday, I was still very much in go for a run mode (last Thursday was a rest/x-train day).  So with that feeling in mind I decided to move my long run from Sunday up to Friday, and increase the mileage on it from 12 to 13.  Normally I don't move long runs around, but with every other Friday off and the fact that my running partner had plans for the weekend, I decided to go ahead and move it up to try to get more done at the house this weekend.

So last Friday I got up, grabbed a couple of bills that could be dropped off along my route and set off on my run.   I was breezing along at a sub-9 pace for the first three miles before making my first stop to drop off the power bill.   Then back through town to drop off the water bill (a whopping 1.5 miles separates them).  After that stop I ventured across the bridge, where I startled two deer, and up along the busy road/highway into the neighboring city.   After a wait at the light to cross the bypass highway, I ran a few blocks to make the turn towards my in-law's house.   I was at 7 miles in just over an hour, not my fastest 7 miles, but still was right on a 9m/m pace.   I cruised along down towards the river stopping at several stop lights along the way.   I pulled up to the river path after 9 miles and was now just behind the 9m/m pace (stupid stop lights).  Just 4 more miles to go, so I followed the path down the river, and eventually up to one of the local high schools, where instead of returning on the path, I decided to run around the school and back towards my in-law's, my stopping spot.   The whole run was awesome, a 13.2 mile run in 2:01, which was 4 minutes faster than my previous best in the 13.1 distance.   So I counted this as a double type run, a long run, run faster (almost a minute/mile) than my normal long run speeds.   So really a long, tempo run.  

Move ahead two days.   Sunday I finally got to meet up with my other running partner, who's wife just had a baby 10 days ago.   Needless to say I hadn't seen him in a while.   I ran my warm-up mile over to his place then ran a nice easy 4+ with him, stopping briefly to see the new arrival,   then headed back to my place, for an easy 7 miles (same pace as the 13.2 two days prior).

Monday, is a typical rest day, so I looked at the schedule, trying to decide how to tackle the speed work and the 20 miler on deck for the week.   I decided to move the speed session to Tuesday, and the long run to Friday with an easy recovery today and Sunday   I am taking the end of the week off to hang out with an old high school friend and go to our reunion which is my primary reason for moving the runs around.   Then I was up late on Monday, and slept through my time to run yesterday.   So between everything else going on (getting the house ready for my friend, book club, work) I skipped the workout completely.  Which left me with today.

I want to do that speed session, but I didn't want to do it too close to the 20 miler as it is my first attempt at running 20 miles.   I was afraid of burning out and not having enough energy Friday, something I did two weeks ago before attempting 18 miles (ending up with 16.2).  So there you have it.   I was left with a shorter recovery type run on the schedule this morning, and opposed to trying to pick up the speed on it, or increase distance, or get that speed session in, I just ran.   I like to think that all runs have a purpose, and today's ended up being a run for the sake of running.   Deep down I know that the run has a purpose, I am after all still out exercising, but I feel that I lacked focus this morning, just logging miles for the sake of it.

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