It was around 8:30 in the evening. The February chill had temporarily lifted tonight, and there was no wind – perfect night for a run across the bridge.
Going into this year’s training season I decided to try things a little different. I’ve always beat myself up for how ‘not a runner’ I was. To which most people roll their eyes.
“Haven’t you run a 50k?”
“…and like 5 marathons?”
Yes. But I’ve always been disappointed in my lack of speed. I’m an average runner at best. My 9:30 minute mile averages have slowly sunk to closer to 11:00 minute miles this past year. Lack of training, yes. Lack of trying to run fast, maybe. Getting in my own head? Absolutely!
In the last 2-3 weeks leading up to the start of training season this year I decided to try something totally different, something I’ve never been able to do (Mostly because I’m a little OCD and a TOTAL data junkie).
I stopped recording my runs.
Yup, you heard me, I stopped recording them altogether. No GPS tracking in a nice little map my pace, elevation, temperature, and distance. Not even a basic stopwatch to show start and stop. It’s been a little bit of torture. “But how do I get better if I don’t know how fast I went?
Last night was the first night it really kicked in. I ran across the bridge and back – which I know is approximately 3.2 miles. OK. I know it’s exactly 3.2 miles because I’ve run that bridge probably 100 times. I purposely don’t look at my watch of my phone, I put my music on shuffle so I can’t count the number of songs. I have no concept of time in the world.
Last night as my feet hit the pavement, I got right in the groove. No pain, no analyzing my steps, my speed, how far I thought I could go.
I was simply running to the other end of the bridge and back – no stopping.
The mix of wonderful weather, good day at work, good talk with my boyfriend, I felt like I was flying! One step fluidly in front of the other. It felt like a perfectly consistent pace. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. Maybe I was slow as molasses.
But it felt GREAT. And this morning I feel SORE! I know my body, and sore after a run either means I ran really really far (which I didn’t) or I ran faster than usual.
I haven’t decided if I’m going through all of the half marathon plan this way – but for now I think I’m going to ‘go run for 40 minutes’ instead of a 4 mile run.
Besides, I’ve got nothing to lose but a little time 😉