Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Reverse Running Route = Mind Blown!

In theory, I am excited and happy that I can run every day this week (without getting up at 4:30 am) because it is Spring Break.  In reality, I haven't been feeling great on my runs, and I keep thinking that I really HAVE lost my mojo.  I remember reading that switching up your running route can be as simple as running the route in reverse.  Challenge accepted.

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?