Hills and Long Run Hatin’
Ever had a run that you just quit on for no good reason. Not because you were out of breath, or tired, or hurting. But just because you were completely bored with the act of running? That was me on Friday evening. I had plans on getting out for 14-16 miles before getting ready for our trip to Pittsburgh. I headed to Central Park with the intention of running a couple of loops, and maybe a loop around the Reservoir. I queued up a pretty cool This American Life on gambling and counting cards to listen to, and I set off on a counter clockwise loop. All fine and dandy. However, I just could not get into this run in any way. I stopped for water even when I wasn’t that thirsty. I simply could not keep running. I was bored. The highlight of my run was the Honey Stinger Orange Blossom Chews I had around mile 4. After a loop I decided to run on the Bridle Path to try and break up the monotony. It worked for about 30 seconds. And then I wanted to murder running again. Let’s be clear here. I wasn’t hurting in anyway. I was just completely uninterested in keeping running. Rationalizing that the longer I ran, the more stressed the rest of my evening would be, I decided to quit after a paltry eight miles and call it a night.
My pace for the run was hovered pretty consistently around the 9:10 mark, so it wasn’t a terrible effort overall. Just, well, completely lacking in the goal of long running. Staying engaged with a long run is one of the biggest challenges that I have during marathon training, and it could be a reason why I should stick to out and back routes. The only way is home.
Weekend city escape! This weekend we went to a wedding in Pittsburgh. Ok, so it was trading one city for another, but it was fun to get away, and more importantly, catch up with old friends and see our good friends get married. You can’t help but be happy at a wedding, can you?
We got back into the city at about 3pm on Sunday afternoon, and Ori and I headed straight to the park to do a hill work run. We ran clockwise down to 102nd street traverse, where we started our “loop”. We then ran the Harlem Hills loop three times. Each loop is about 1.5 miles long, and has an elevation gain of 135 feet. As it’s a loop, there are some nice downhills as well. I didn’t really have a time goal in time for this run, as I’d never done it before. I vaguely decided that nothing slower than 9 min miles, which I stuck to without too much challenge. It was a fun little run; the hills made me feel like working, and the shortness of the loops kept me interested. Ori and I were not the only ones doing this challenge. There were at least 3 other guys running with us on the same hilly treadmill. Next time, I’ll have specific time goals in mind.
After our run I headed to Sunday Slow Flow yoga. Our regular teacher as stuck in Newark traffic so for the first fifteen minutes we did some spine lengthening breathing exercises. Or, “heart forward on the inhale, heart rounding on the exhale”. We were sitting in place hula hooping for 15 minutes. Ugh. Reminded me of the Yoga Bitch book I’m reading. Our regular teacher finally turned up and we spent the rest of class opening up our shoulders. As usual, it took me until the end of class to achieve a straight-legged downward dog. Every week I work really hard at tightening up muscles running, and then spend an hour trying to stretch them back out again. It strikes me as very Sisyphic.
Did you get any good runs in this weekend? PR at a race?