I’m back to training for the Akron half marathon at the end of September. The MS150 ride is a great cross training for running, but nothing really prepares you for a long run than… well… running.
Despite the humidity, I love a mid-August run:
- It is still officially summer
- Lots of flowers along the trails
- Time to reflect during the run
- Great feeling of accomplishment after a good run
When I started this training run, I remember feeling a bit out of breath and had to remind myself, “Start slow. Give your body a chance to warm up.”
It’s funny. All these times I’ve been running, there is something that makes me want to go too fast at first. My blood has to start pumping a little more. Heart beating a little harder. And then about 7 or 8 minutes into it, I’m not sure what it is, but my arteries feel like they are open and I really like running again.
I’m pretty sure it’s not just me. Does this happen to you too, when you start exercising? I feel the most like quitting during the first 8 minutes. And then it’s not too bad.
It really gets good about a 30 minutes into it. The endorphins start pumping and I get that “You are rocking this” feeling. I guess that’s the runner’s high they talk about. I think that’s one of the many reasons I love running.
Knowing that feeling is coming helps me keep going to get over that starting hump that I’ve got to break through to get to the good part!
For this run, I forgot to bring my head phones, so I just let my mind wander a bit:
- Was it only a year ago, running on this same trail and running a little more than 7 miles — that I farther than I ever did in my life! What a feeling of accomplishment.
- What is a good mantra for today? Click thru to get the Becoming Elli list of mantras. I wanted to pick a simple one to say to myself during the beginning of this run. I ended up just using a two syllable mantra that I chanted to myself: “Elli! Elli” EL (left foot down.) LI (Right foot down.) EL (left foot.) LI (Right foot.). EL (left.) LI (right.)
- I daydreamed about how in the heck did she beat Thor anyway? It must have been the training! Bet she was lifting weights and doing one legged squats.
- Maybe doing more one legged squats would be good for me. Good for balance. Good for strength. Good for my Achilles. (I use straps, still working on “just” me.)
By this point I had captured my breath. Since the last few weeks have really been devoted to riding, not running, I didn’t want to over do it on my Achilles, so I adopted a run, run, walk, run pattern.
It was actually three minutes running, one minute walking, but I tacked the last run on after the walk, just because it helps me psych myself out by breaking up the run with a walk in between. I look at those four minutes as a set and then keep repeating it throughout the workout.
I tried not to think about the humidity. But I know my heart rate is faster and my pace is slower with the same amount of exertion, when the humidity is high.
Mid-August seems early for school to start, but it started around here this week. There were lots of kids standing at the end of their driveways, waiting for the bus.
Maybe that’s why I didn’t see very many people while I was out doing the run.
Over the 45 minute period, I saw one walker, one bike rider and one other runner. Ironically, I actually recognized two of the three people. They were from my gym. That makes me smile. Having the routine of regularly going to the gym keeps me staying fit, doing my exercise and expands my friendships. And I guess that works for other people that go to my gym too.
The more you do… the more you do. The more you can do.
All in all, I didn’t run extremely far. And I didn’t run extremely fast. But I was out there, putting one foot in front of the other.
I made my walking cool-down really fun by taking photos of some of the blooms I enjoyed during my mid-August run. Goldenrod. Queens Anne Lace. Joe Pye Weed. These flowers are fleeting and in another month, most will be gone. Just like the summer days!