In my past running life, I was a sort of get-off-my-lawn person when it came to my running. Yeah, I hate to admit it. While I was never fast, I considered myself "serious", the type of person who went on training runs and went to races without engaging in the shenanigans many others did.
Needless to say, I didn't have many friends.
As you can tell if you follow my blog or social media feeds, I've changed my ways, and I've enjoyed it a lot more too. This running thing is just way better when we are doing it together, isn't it?
Over the last several weeks I've been taking that to heart more than ever. Part of it is because I've had a couple of nagging Achilles problems -- which I'm seeing a podiatrist about next week -- but also because I'm not really "training" for anything right now. While there are a couple of 5K's in July that I'm aiming for, I'm just focusing on base runs right now, with plans of doing some faster stuff in the next week or two.
It's been a really fun, relaxing time, and I'm enjoying my running a lot. Not necessarily the heat, mind you, but I'm feeling motivated a lot more and look forward to getting out every day. Which has been nice.
Most of my runs have been the run/walk variety, where I'm mixing in a little of both. It's a bit of a change from the way I normally (or sometimes stubbornly) do my runs, but I've liked it. I've even come up with a new workout, which I call the "Oakenfold". That's where I take an hour-long podcast from the techno DJ Paul Oakenfold and I run during one song and walk during the next.
I actually think I stumbled onto what could be a pretty hard workout if you run the whole thing. It would end up like a fartlek or speedwork session, where you run hard during one song and jog slowly during the next. I can't wait to try it!
I've taken a few pictures in a few different places, but I guess you'll need to follow me on social media to see them!
I also think in a way this little break has been good for my running, too. While it has at times been a struggle in the heat -- I'm not great in the heat -- I went on a run last night after dark that was just fantastic. It was a 4-mile "Oakenfold" run (I'm telling ya, it's a workout I could start digging!) and the conditions were really cool, the humidity was down and it was very, very dark!
During the time I was running I was going really hard and felt really racy. I'm not sure what my pace was because I wasn't on the clock -- oh yeah, I should mention I'm not worrying about time or pace either -- but it felt a lot quicker than it had been in quite some time.
I'm realizing during this that it's something that everyone should try every so often. Sometimes we get so focused on goal races, or jump right from training from one race to the next, that we forget why we do this in the first place. Some people are just in that training/racing mode all of the time, and that sounds more like work than fun. I'm realizing more and more that the less seriously I take myself, the better runner I could possibly be.