Friday, June 5, 2009

Back to running!

Before today, my last run was Monday of this week. It seems like WEEKS ago! It was great to get back out there. I ran the same 1-mile trail as Monday, five laps, with almost the identical time (40:33; 8:07 pace), but with a slightly different format. I ran the first three miles slowly (8:22/8:18/8:18), then a hard fourth lap (7:17), then finished with an easy lap (8:17). For the hard mile, I wanted to see if I could run a 7:30 & ended up going a good deal faster. It wasn't easy, and I probably couldn't have held that pace for even another mile, but it was reassuring to be able to go faster than I thought I could (it's a hilly loop, so I likely would have been a bit faster on a flat course). Thus, I'm sticking with my 7:30/mile pace goal for my 5k a week from tomorrow. I followed the run with a bit of stretching and an ice bath. My right IT band and hip were bothering me just a little during and after the run.

It's been a rough week. Not to get too personal, but my business is really struggling right now in this economy. Plus, I had the intestinal virus issue a couple of days ago, followed by having my email account accidentally shut down by Verizon (still is). Then yesterday, my wife and kids got rear-ended while driving our relatively new (and not cheap) Odyssey minivan. They're fine, and unlike most stories you hear, the driver at fault IS insured and very cooperative. I say all this to make a point about running. I'll start by saying that I do have a strong faith & beliefs (which I won't get into on this blog) that give comfort and solace...but, to a lesser yet very significant degree, running provides me with something much more valuable than I had ever really understood. I don't know if I'd call it an "escape" from reality, but it really clears my head and relieves stress. It calms my nerves. It provides an energy outlet (which I DEFINITELY need, since I'm antsy and restless by nature). I've run a (to some runners, measly) 8000+ miles in my "running life", yet the psychological benefits of running are so much more apparent and valuable to me know than ever before. When I finished today's run, I felt elated. Yes, it was probably the endorphin release, but the feeling of well-being blotted out the worries (at least temporarily) that rattle around in my noggin. Although I love the increased fitness, trim waistline and more abundant energy that running provides, I'd keep running just for the mental benefits alone!
Enjoy your weekend, everyone!


  1. sucks about your car at least the driver was insured. great blog

  2. Thanks Chris. Wasn't aware of your blog. I'll be checking it out now!

  3. it really clears my head and relieves stress. - Yes
    It calms my nerves. - Yes
    It provides an energy outlet - and Yes!

    Running is awesome and we all NEED it!!

    Sorry to hear about all the stress going on in your life right now. As you know, things do get better. It's getting through the tough spots that is tough.

    Nice job on the run and the 7:17 mile. You're going to do great in your upcoming race!

  4. Thanks, I appreciate it. Woke up with an elevated heart rate this morning. I know I'm not overtraining (with only two measly runs this week), so it's indeed stress. Things will improve. Hopefully the 5k will go well. No PR expected, but it would be nice to run a decent time.