Saturday, June 16, 2012

Feeling like a runner

Yesterday I took Jack on a little run in the woods, and I decided to do an experiment with speed.  Was I ready?  Would it kill me?  I warmed up for five minutes and then added six 30-second pick-ups on the odd minutes, followed by a five minute cool down.  Here's what I learned:

  • A trail is not the best place to practice going faster.  I looked at my feet a lot to avoid roots, compromising whatever form I have left.
  • Retractable leashes are amazing.  Jack has to pee on just about every tree, so even during a fast moment he has enough slack to run ahead, find a nice tree, do his thing, and catch up before he runs out of line.
  • Hills matter.  The first two pick-ups felt amazing.  They were also downhill.  Funny how that makes it feel like you're flying, eh?  Three and four were flat, but numbers five and six were uphill.  I felt fine, but not like I was flying.
  • Running fast(er) feels more natural to me than my slow pace.  Every time I sped up, my torso leaned forward, I landed more on my midfoot than my heel, and my body felt lighter.  My muscles did not seem to care that I was speeding up; if anything, they approved.
  • I am out of shape.  Yes, my legs and feet and muscles felt great, but the lungs did not enjoy this little exercise!  By the end it felt like a workout.  At home, I was pink for half an hour, and I ran in the shade.
Based on all of that, I've decided to do these pick-ups with every run (or nearly every run) until my pace gets closer to my normal.  My body doesn't mind; I am only sore today because I thought it would be fun to do two one-minute planks after the run.  My lungs mind, but I don't care.  They will improve quickly.  Mostly, though, I just like feeling like a runner.  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for reminding me that I need to add pick-ups (farlek just sounds so silly) to my runs. It's amazing how they can help improve your running! And your butt in jeans! ;-)