On Monday, I felt like I needed to pound out another bad mood, so I went for a run on my usual two mile loop. It felt like a struggle, most likely because I purposely ran without music. I figured it would be a quick run and wouldn’t matter all that much. Maybe the music would have helped, but my calf muscles felt tight again and I felt like I was panting really hard.
I don’t know if anyone other than me does this, but when I run past people, I try to breathe quieter which just ends up making me huff and puff more once I’m past the person. When I have my music on, I don’t hear my own breathing as much and therefore don’t try to quiet it down.
I managed to make it through the run in 24 minutes, but was bummed at my slow times; at least until the next morning when I entered my run in MapMyRun.com and found out I actually did 2.18 miles, making my pace 11:05, which is typical for a leisurely training run. It felt good knowing I was running farther than I thought; and I’ve been doing this same route for almost a year now.
Yesterday, I was daydreaming about running after work. It was 76 degrees and sunny with a slight breeze, which is fairly rare for October 11th inMinnesota. By the time I got home, I felt like I NEEDED to run because the driving skill of the general population infuriates me.
As soon as I got home, I suited up and headed out the door. This time I brought my iPod. My calf muscles felt tight for the first mile and then I felt myself start to relax and push through the glutes and hamstrings more. Somewhere around mile two, my lungs felt awesome. I wasn’t breathing hard and hardly noticed my breathing at all.
I started to realize that when I stop thinking about breathing “correctly” or working on my running form, everything falls into place. My breathing feels natural and my muscles loosen up. All of the reading I’ve done on breathing and form during running need to be ignored in my case. Sure, following tips from the experts may help my running times, but I would rather be comfortable while running than to be faster because comfortable and happy will keep me doing it. Faster can be fun, but not if it makes me miserable.
After my 3.1 mile loop, I felt pretty good and actually spent a good 20 minutes on stretching; something I’ve neglected for too long, even though I know better. Once the stretching was done, I logged my run into MapMyRun.com and again found I’ve been running farther than I thought. What I thought was a 3.1 mile loop is actually a 3.28 mile loop, putting me at an 11:05 pace again. Right where I should be.
Usually I don’t run two days in a row, but it just felt right. Today will be a cross-training day and it will be back to running tomorrow; about a 4.22 mile loop. However, I think the mileage is right this time because a fellow runner tracked it on her GPS watch two weeks ago.
This weekend, I have my first trail run, which is a 5k at aMinnesotaState Park. I’m bummed that it will probably be a slow run because I haven’t done any off-road training (other than hiking), but I know the course and scenery are beautiful. Hopefully the weather will cooperate so the trail won’t be a mud pit.
In other running news, I signed up for the Monster Dash 10 Miler on Saturday, October 29th in St. Paul and yesterday I ordered part of my costume. I love costumes! I just hope it gets here on time. I have a few other items to buy to complete the costume, but it should be cute and something that won’t be a problem to run in. Even if my running isn’t great for the Monster Dash, it should be a blast and that’s what running should be about!