Today’s run (street): 5.4
It was just about six years ago when I decided to get serious about my diet and fitness. I wasn’t planning to start running. That happened after a few weeks of morning treadmill walks leading to longer walks around the neighborhood. At one point during a walk, I decided to run to the end of the street. I remember how difficult it was to just do that. I figured that running would get easier, and then finally become easy.
Six years later, despite building fitness and developing an aerobic base, I still think that running is hard. Unless I’m doing long slow distance, I usually experience some level of discomfort during a run. Over time, I’ve learned to manage – even embrace – a certain degree of suffering. If I had known that this would be the case six years ago, would I have continued to try?
With yesterday’s hot, hard and humid five miles on the treadmill, I was prepared to struggle today. The first mile reinforced that. As I ran, I felt frustrated with the level of effort that I was expending so early in the run. It was humid and cloudy, but fortunately not that hot. I headed to “neighborhood #2” for a change of scenery and to eat up some distance along one of my favorite straightaways.
After a while, my effort started to feel easier. I took the opportunity to increase my pace and ended up running negative splits. I thought it was interesting that, during the run, I’d reconciled myself to a laborious effort only to experience a rare easy training run. I’m also happy to report that I nudged closer to my targeted 18 miles week. That 4:00 AM run on Wednesday did the trick.