Friday, August 10, 2007

Do you have the right running Support?

Support is very important in running. You have to have good shoes, good clothes, and good family. In order to run well you have to have good support. I'm lucky, I have great support. Sometimes I don't recognize it, but last Sunday was an example of support from my wife that changed the day, and my week since.

I woke up late for my run on Sunday. I was planning on being out of the house by 5 in order to get home as everyone else was waking up for the day. Instead I woke up at 7 when my youngest started yelling from his crib that it was time to wake up.

I sat on the floor, where I slept Saturday night as I spent a quality night bonding with my oldest at the same time that my wife and daughter slept together in our bed, and started to beat myself up mentally. I was so mad. I wanted to be done already and instead I was just waking up.
My wife, knowing how much of a beast I can be without my run, came to me and said, "It's still early, and isn't it the run that's important not the time?" I could not argue with those words of wisdom.

Out the door I went at 7:15. My training plan only has me running 6 mile runs on long days that I'm not trying to get closer to the marathon distance. The past several really long runs though I've started to pitter out after 6 miles. In order to prevent that, I have decided that I'm going to start increasing my short long runs from 6 miles up to 10. This weekend I was increasing to 8 miles. With my trusty MP3 player and shoes I was on my way.

There was something about having started late that really annoyed me. I was mad and I don't normally start a morning mad. I love mornings, each day is full of promise and anything can happen, so I am almost always happy to start a day. Sunday I was mad. I was mad to the point of punishing myself. I didn't beat myself up mentally, I did it physically. My mind and body are constantly at odds with each other. My body says give me food while my mind says I don't need it. My body says I need sleep, while my mind says I have too much to do. Now though, I was pushing my body beyond what it could handle. Beyond what it has had to handle.

Even while pushing harder than normal, I was sticking to my run 4 minutes and walk 1 minute running pattern. I didn't want to screw up the pattern that has worked so well and that I plan on using in the marathon. That meant that each run had to be faster. I made the 5K mark at 32 minutes, much faster than a normal long run. I was at 4.13 miles at 43 minutes, still a great pace for my run. I then turned around and started pushing even harder. I was going to run as hard as I could on the way back home. When I was finished I had averaged 11:04 per mile.

Left to my own devices I would not have gotten out the door. With my wife's encouraged me to not only go for a run, but fueled the desire to push harder and have one of my best runs of the year.