Greetings from the other side of the weekend, also known as Monday! It’s a rainy, dreary day so far, and I think my mood has followed suit, even if I didn’t mind the gentle, not-too-cold rain while I ran this morning. Some Mondays just feel especially Monday-ish, or perhaps after a long and tiring week last week I needed some extra weekend-ness, though as far as weekends go it was pretty perfect, weather included. It was warm enough to sit outside, but there was a little hint of fall in the air and the leaves have started to turn and blanket the ground. I will miss the warmth, but I also appreciate the seasonality. The forecast assures me that the warmth will be very short-lived.
I’ve been feeling the itch to write lately, and I remembered this little space of mine sitting here neglected, so I blew the digital dust off my login screen and am sitting here wanting to say everything and nothing (but mostly everything).
First thing’s first, I’m gearing up for a half marathon and training is going swimmingly. I am loving my workouts, I am hitting my goals, and I am getting more and more eager to see what happens on November 4th, with the appropriate amount of nervous energy also starting to accumulate. My grand 5K experiment last spring resulted in a PR, though not until August when I was starting my half marathon build-up. It took me awhile to get the hang of 5Ks, and I learned many times over that they are not easy and, oh my, they do not feel short. I had some fantasy of them feeling like the first 3.1 miles of a half marathon I started too fast, which is to say I wanted to feel like an winged goddess for an effortless 3 miles and then stop. As it turns out, you can also start a 5K too fast and that least lone mile can feel like a small eternity. The silver lining was figuring out what it really felt like to run hard, and discovering that it feels, well, really (really) hard. It’s been nice to return to longer forms of speed work, and also to be hungry for a longer race. It’s possible I’ve confirmed, for myself at least, that my propensity is for longer distances, but I’m glad I shook things up and tried something slightly uncomfortable and new.
Well, let’s just call my daily writing challenge a fail and move on, shall we? It’s not so much that I am unable to sit and write every day, I actually enjoy writing quite a bit. I think I’ve created other, unnecessary, blocks for myself. I sit down to write and I realize I’ve failed to take any pictures, and sometimes taking said pictures, of myself anyway, requires stepping outside of my comfort zone. Does it matter that I don’t have image heavy posts? Probably not. Mostly I’m compelled to document and share my journey, and for me that means writing about it. Will I write more if I remove this self-created pressure? Maybe, and perhaps if I revamp my goal with this caveat (no pressure to snap daily running selfies) I’ll find a happy medium for myself. Okay, enough of the meta talk about blogging. I’ve probably written more about writing than anything else. Let’s talk running.
Greetings from storm central! Today has been wet and booming, though I’m not sad that things are cooling off after a steamy run this morning. Also, I seem to keep missing the inclement weather by a window of a few minutes on my morning runs, so I have managed to stay dry and unscathed. This morning I also managed to turn off my alarm in my sleep in a way that ended all subsequent snooze alerts, and yet still managed to miraculously wake on time (sort of), mostly in wondering why my alarm had stopped going off. I think I’ve discovered the true value of the snooze alarm function – conditioning yourself to expect more beeps so that when they don’t follow their absence will wake you up.
Yesterday morning as I pondered the eight miles I was about to tackle, it hit me: eight is my new normal. As my training is increasing, obviously so is my mileage, and more and more eight milers are sneaking onto my training calendar as easy runs. I remember when I got to the point last fall that I was doing a mid-week long(er) run that started to hover around eight miles, namely because it was a Big Deal, and while it still feels on the longer side, it’s not stopping the presses with quite as much urgency. Slowly I have become used to running longer more often, which has also come with another new phenomenon: legitimate zoning out. I’ve always run with music, but I would frequently hit those days where it seemed like nothing good would come onto my music mix. But lately? I barely even notice my music. It’s been just a little whisper in the background as I’ve entered some state of running zen. I’m almost tempted to try running without it. Almost. Let’s not be rash.