|Out and back on the north trail|
Today’s run (Bethpage bike trail): 4.4 miles
Yesterday’s run (street): 3.2 miles
Going back into the office after two vacation days was a challenge. I didn’t get back into workout mode until yesterday. I’m happy to report that I’ve maintained my nutritional discipline, cutting out the bulk of processed sugar in my diet and avoiding conditions that may spike blood glucose and insulin response. The results speak for themselves. I’ve lost some weight, gained more energy and I’m handling work stress far better than before.
As far as running, there has been impact, but no tangible performance gain. Using automobiles as a analogy, I would compare my running a month ago to one of those cars from the ’80s or early ’90s that I often see on my daily commute. These junkers sound like they need mufflers, transmissions and valve jobs and struggle just to keep up with traffic. It takes everything they have just to get where they’re going. That was me in June. I struggled through every run at paces that were 2-3 minutes per mile slower than I used to go, just a couple of years ago.
Using the same analogy, my current running is more like me in my car. I can keep up with traffic without struggling. If I want to drive faster, I can. The only reason haven’t pushed the pedal any harder is that I’m enjoying running for the first time in a long time. I now look forward to getting outside instead of dreading the effort. The question is, when should I shift to focusing on pace?
Yesterday’s run around the neighborhood was easy and I threw in some speed at times. I’d gone out around 6:30 AM before the sun was baking hot and the humidity reached 90%. That would have been a good idea this morning, but I didn’t get to Bethpage until 8:00 AM when the temperature was already in the mid 80s and getting hotter.
I had the same energy at the start that I’ve experienced since my diet change, but I did have some trouble loosening up. It took about a half a mile before my stride felt fluid. The trail was fairly shady and it made a big difference when I was shielded from the sun. I didn’t feel as strong as I did on Friday, but the difference in temperature probably had a lot to do with that. Despite weather conditions making it tough, I still felt like I could cover more ground today.
I considered running past Washington Ave which would have extended today’s run to five miles. I had the energy, but I hadn’t fueled properly and didn’t want to overdo it. Better to run well and appreciate the effort than to go too far and regret it. The trail was full of cyclists today, many more than usual. Curiously, there three or four dead mice on the trail, something I rarely see. I also saw a fair number of bunnies who were happily hopping around.
If I can get my act together I may get out really early and run at the track. I’d like to do a few intervals to activate muscle memory and push myself out of my current pacing. I’m looking forward to running tomorrow, no matter where I go or what I do. That’s a great change in a very short time.