Friday, January 18, 2019

Purposeful Running

Ryan and I have been talking about every run having a purpose. Of course, I know that speed and hill work is important, as are long runs, but for me, finding joy in my miles is the most important part and truly the overarching purpose of my running. So far this approach has served me pretty well. I have built up a good base through consistent miles, and in gearing up for specific races, have thrown in structured speed work, hill repeats as necessary. The long runs go without saying. But overall, I don't go crazy in my build-ups. Nothing like stressing about running to kill your joy.

Still, I realize as I look ahead to June 2019 that I have a race on the calendar like no other. And with that, I've been pondering the process a bit more. I'm working in some easy body-weight leg strength each week, I'll be hitting the hills, particularly the downhills, a bit harder than I really ever have in the upcoming months to prepare for the long downhills into the canyons, and I'm even thinking about some sauna sessions in May and early June, which would be fairly easy to do at the Y during Sam's swim team practices. Hopefully these small additions will allow me a little extra edge as I prepare for Western States. But no matter what, I most certainly want to keep with my main theme of let the training be the goal and the goal be to enjoy the journey. If I don't have that, then what's the point?

Tuesday morning I ran Highland Green out and back via the Connector. Ryan said, why so fast? And I said why not? Perhaps I am misunderstanding the purposeful running thing, or maybe I'll just call it a steady run day 😂😉 A cold but windless morning with Venus, Jupiter and what I found out what Antares shining brilliantly above. (5.0 miles)

I noticed on the return trip that there were snowmobile tracks along the powerlines, which got me all excited for a powerline run on Wednesday. Well, really, the machine had just churned up the snow making it really soft, so I nixed that idea and ran around the Highland Green loop instead, backwards. Kept my spikes on for the back road portion, which was super icy, and then added on a bit along Canam before heading home. (6.0 miles)

Yesterday, I did not get my butt out of bed to run in the morning, so instead I crammed in a few miles between work and picking up Sam for swim team practice. I felt good and smooth and fast. Was there a purpose to the progression pace? From a training plan stand-point, not so much, but in the mind of the slightly frazzled mom who felt like she was juggling a bit too much, the purpose, well, it was really just to get back in time to take a quick shower before picking up the kiddo. 😏 Nothing more nothing less. The end. Still, felt good to move it a bit. (5.0 miles)

And then in contrast to yesterday's smooth fast feeling run, today I felt sluggish and meh. I headed out into the Cathance under overcast skies and just was not feeling it. I kind of shrugged and decided not to push it and instead just enjoyed an icy shuffle on the trails through the woods and along the river. Not a day for a long run for me. That will just have to wait. When I look at my calendar, I realize I had originally planned for this to be a down week anyway, before I switched things around and decided to do 20 this weekend, so no big deal, I've just gone back to the original plan 😂 The mind can justify anything! Ha. But truly, going back to the purpose. Yes, sometimes you have to slug it out and get it done. But sometimes, it's OK to step back and do what feels good, even if that means less miles. Or, at least that's what I'm going with today 😀 Lots of ice out there today, both on the trails and along the river. (10.0 miles)

And then I came home and made bacon and Steadfast Eggs from Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow for lunch. Sweet potatoes for the win. Yum!

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