There have been times where the weather has been perfect and all other conditions flawless and I expect to breeze through whatever miles I have planned- and then I don’t and the run is hard and I get annoyed. There are times where the weather is less than perfect and I’m overtired and a little sore and I expect to drudge through every last second of whatever miles I have planned- and then the run is surprisingly awesome. You really just never know what the outcome of a run is going to be until your pulling back into home base. Moral of the story- just get out there and do it!
I’m officially more than halfway through my half marathon training (!!!) and I’ve had plenty of good and bad runs in the past three weeks. They’ve mostly been outside in the cold- but some have been indoors on the treadmill (when conditions have been too frustrating to manage).
But this past weekend- it reached 60 degrees here in DC and I was in heaven. My long run for the week was scheduled for Saturday and I was ALL about it. It was one of those rare times where I was SO excited to run, thought I was going to have a great run, and then went on to have one of the best runs to date. I was so happy! If that freak picture from the top of this post didn’t tell you that already…
And while although you can never really plan a perfect run, this wicked stellar run got me to thinking about what adds up to a perfect run.
For me its:
- warmish weather (50s-60s)
- being able to wear one layer of clothes- preferably a t-shirt and shorts
- good music playing on my iPod
- being well rested (not pushing myself too hard during the week and being realistic about how many miles I’m running + getting enough sleep)
- being well fueled ahead of time (for long runs, I like to wake up, eat breakfast, let my body reaaaalllly wake up, and then go running mid-morning before lunch)
- having something to recharge with when I get home (water + banana/pb/greek yogurt either in a smoothie or straight up)
- ten minutes spent warming up my muscles pre-run
- twenty minutes (at least) spent stretching and foam rolling afterwards
- channeling positive energy (reminding myself that I can in fact run these damn miles)
- not having any pressure on me like time or pace- in fact I don’t even like knowing the time at all when I’m running (I also try not to plan anything in my day for a couple hours after my run so that I don’t feel stressed on my run or coming back and taking the time to stretch, compose myself, and rehydrate)
- being as free as possible- having minimal things with me- ideally I only like to be carrying my keys and something to listen to music.
I know I can’t replicate the goodness that I felt on Saturday after the eight miles, but knowing that the above things are the best conditions for me to run in (mentally and physically) I can at least try to relive my running glory.
I’m also trying to remind myself how important my training plan has been. The main reason why those eight miles were so good (besides the weather) was that I have been adhering to the plan and being smart about my increase in mileage and how much I’m working out in general. Runs feel good when you haven’t been overdoing it and your legs are strong. Stick to the plan, man.
Week one of training saw me running twelve miles in total. Week two, I built up to sixteen miles. And week three I reach a total of twenty-one miles. In this week ahead, I have twenty-three miles to reach (nine of which have already been tackled).
I’m naht looking forward to the fact that we’re back to winter weather around here and went run heavy this weekend and this morning in order to knock out some runs before it gets colder later in the week.
While I’m glad I ran five miles yesterday in the 50 degree temps and then four miles this morning in the sunny 40 degree temps… my legs are tired. Three back to back days of runs is a lot for my little legs.
And I know for sure that if I want to see more close to perfect runs in the rest of my training (I’m looking at you ten mile long run this week), that I need to rest. So tomorrow I shall rest these legs of mine. Oh hey yoga class…
Until then, I’m going to try and bottle up the feelings of spring, a new season, and a pair of legs that won’t quit- and remember how spectacular this weekend’s long run was. Even if it’s back to wearing my big puffy coat outdoors.
Bring it half-marathon!
Keep it wicked healthy xoxo