"It's a little self indulgent..." - My mom
"After I read a sentence, I get mad at myself for caring what you're doing." -Karl Dusen

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Putting my foot down, on my ears

I've started getting weak, and I became the kind of runner I always abhorred. I have been listening to music and podcasts too much, and it's starting to affect my preparation. This was evident to me on Sunday, when I was alone for the last three miles in Rock Creek Park and I started to lose my focus. I couldn't handle three miles without getting bored? Come on!

So I have instituted a new rule- no mp3 player (I never use an iPod) for runs longer than five miles. I don't really do many five mile runs yet, but when my mileage starts getting up there and I do morning runs, I might need it then, just because I don't wake up well and will need someone, like the hosts of Morning Edition, to talk me through it.

I started listening to an mp3 player when I resumed running in October and I was struggling aerobically to even keep the pace up and I needed something to distract me from the frustration. I just kind of kept them on as I adjusted to the workload and grew dependent on them. I don't want that anymore. I used to be great on my own because I tempered my mental fitness with long, cold, snowy runs in 2007. I was probably better running on my own than I was in a crowd.
Sure it will be boring, but I didn't think so when I would run in Pittsburgh. I remember, often coming down long hills, just opening my eyes as wide as I could to aid getting the full sensory experience wherever I was running. I got more out of each run than just a workout, and I wouldn't mind doing that again.

As for Thursday, I ran 6:30 pace around the Mall and Hains Point for 9.75 miles.

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