Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Why Do I Run?

From March...

Hey. How's it going? It's been 3 weeks since the marathon, so I figured I'd better throw an update up here to let you know I'm still here. Still running. Had a little time to get philosophical, so I'd figure it's something to talk about.

So in these three weeks, the goal was really just to recover and get back to normal. They say it takes 3-4 weeks to recover from a marathon, so I certainly didn't want to push myself too hard and get hurt or anything. Hell, I was still over the moon about getting a surprise BQ, so now I planned to not run another marathon until next April. So nothing to really train for.

But it turns out I just like to get out there. I noticed 6 of my 8 runs in those three weeks were with one of my running groups. So I guess I just like to meet up with other runners and do our thing. And maybe accept a few congrats for my race...

Week one I had the usual post-marathon soreness. It peaked after 2-3 days and was mostly gone by Saturday. So I decided to join the Mountain Goats for a Saturday run. Of course, the goats don't do easy runs. It was the usual ridiculous hill climb. I guess I could have cut it short, but, no, I did the full 11.7 miles. Felt Ok the first 4 miles. Then the quads reminded me that we just ran a marathon. Unfortunately I had a long way to go, mostly on steep downhills at that point. It hurt. A lot. Stupid.
But the trails are so much fun anyway. So beautiful up there away from the city. I never regret the 40 minute drive each way and getting out of bed at 6 on a Saturday, because these runs just make me feel alive and happy and grateful to live in such a place.

Monday of week two I was more conservative and just did a little 4 miler to shake out the soreness. Legs still heavy. Wednesday however I wanted to join the track group. I had a 5K in 3 more weeks, so I might as well do a little speed work, right? I told myself to take it easy and when the legs got heavy and tired after 5 400s (1:40, 1:35, 1:29, 1:29, 1:29) I shut it down. Good boy.

Saturday I joined the goats again. The legs were feeling much better this time, and I ran a challenging 10.5 miles with a group of 3 guys. We do different trails every week, so it never gets old. It was fun to run with the group, fun to push it up ridiculous hills, fun to absorb the fantastic views.
Week 3 had me meeting up with my Tuesday running store group. I cruised 7 miles and felt like I was back to my old self, pushing it down to 7:30 pace for the last few miles. Then I came back Wednesday to the track aiming for a full workout.

After the usual warmups and accelerations, we did 2x1200, with the goal of 10K pace first lap, 5K pace 2nd lap, and Mile pace 3rd lap. I hit the times perfectly and felt strong (1:45, 1:37, 1:30 per lap). Then we did 3x400 at Mile pace and I hit 1:25 every time. Then he had us do another 1200 same way, and I was still hitting it at 4:52.

Finally he asked for a fast 800, and my legs told me to bail after the first 150. too much. Didn't want to push my luck. Still, happy with a solid workout. I just love running fast, competing with others, and hitting goal times feeling strong. Looking forward to one more track workout next week before the 5K.

Took two days off and then joined the goats again for 12 miles of fun over ridiculous hills and some awesome single track. Again, the same feelings...This is why I run. Beauty, nature, feelings of strength and confidence, endorphins, camaraderie...pretty damn blissful.
Today, Sunday I went out locally for 7 on a very blustery day. Enjoyed my wood chip trail and then hit the beach. This time I went down into the sand and ran along the coastline for over 2 miles, where the wind was whipping up whitecaps and the waves were huge. Didn't care about pace, just enjoying nature on a sunny day.

Damn, life is good.

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