|This is NOT what I did; this is running in reverse. I ran a reverse ROUTE. Aren't you glad I cleared that up?|
This morning I took my normal 4:30 am running loop and I ran it in reverse at 7:30. I strapped on the Garmin and the iPod, but I wouldn't look at the time on the Garmin. I decided to concentrate on the music (I have private videos that I have made in my head for each song--no, none of them involve porn) and on my breathing. I still felt like my legs were made of lead, and I started wondering if I need to fuel before my short runs, too, which would REALLY make me feel defeated. After all, I am not a petite, bird-like, graceful runner, and although I realize that I need to fuel before my long runs, I feel that I should be able to rock a 4-5 miler on just some water.
All of a sudden, the runner's high kicked in. I straightened up, pulled back my shoulder blades, picked up my knees, and gave a long sigh. Right away I heard a BEEP; I checked the Garmin and noticed I had hit the two-mile mark. That's when it hit me: how could I have forgotten that I usually feel like crap in the first two miles? Why did I consider that a failure on my part? I've even BLOGGED about this, for Pete's sake! Do I not read my own blogs? I did a quick check at my pace--about ten minutes. There was a time when I would be ecstatic with this pace. . .but that time was a year ago. Then it hit me again: why couldn't I do one mile out of the four at a much faster pace? Isn't that what intervals are all about? Duh! So, I kicked it up for mile three, and then I gave myself permission to slow it down in mile four.
The point is this: I think running a reverse route gave me a different perspective on my form and strategy. It made me see my neighborhood in a new way, and it reminded me of lessons I've forgotten from past runs. Every relationship takes effort and reflection; this includes my relationship with running.
What do you do to renew your relationship with running?