Speed or distance. Not both.
A few weeks ago, I announced my intentions of running my very first half-marathon this October. Unfortunately, due to a trip home and my husband returning from Afghanistan, my training has been a little off the past couple of weeks. In fact, though I hate to admit it, I haven’t really been enjoying the training yet. I have read countless stories of people who started running and fell in love with it and I have been hoping for that to happen to me, but it seems to be taking a little longer than I expected. I have been too worried about time and pace and have turned running into a chore instead of something that I can actually enjoy. Alex, a runner friend of mine, recently told me to focus on either speed or distance during a run. Not both. It may seem simple and common sense, but I have never been a runner so I did not know this. It really opened my eyes and gave me an “Aha” moment. I don’t need to pressure myself too much on my runs. I just need to run.
Monday morning I set my alarm for 6:00a.m. and after fighting the urge to hit snooze I got up for a run. I have realized that using my CamelBak on long runs or early runs really helps me push through. In the 10 minutes that it takes me to get ready for a morning run, I just can’t drink enough water to really keep me hydrated . Plus I sweat…A LOT!
Feeling like the living dead before my run.
I pounded out 5 hot miles (including a few walking breaks) and finished with a time of 51:38. Ultimately I think walking breaks are great for me! Before, I was so worried that a walking break would mean I wasn’t a good runner….but who am I competing against? Who am I proving something to? In the end it’s just me and the pavement and if a walking break is going to help me actually do 5 miles…then I am all for it!
After my longer runs, my hips are in desperate need of stretching. The following are my favorite stretches to work out any tightness I have due to running. I hold each stretch for at least 15 seconds and sometimes for a full minute.
Pigeon Pose Variation (my favorite stretch)
Just looking at these pictures makes me want to stretch. In fact, I think I will go do that right now!