As I’m rebuilding my run fitness now, I am finding that I am enjoying my runs more, particularly my long runs. I think there are a few reasons for this.
1> My expectations are low – I am honest to God tickled pink to run 8:20 miles.
2> Because my expectations are low, I am able to better control my ego and run the right pace.
3> I am running the right pace.
Prior to returning to running I recalculated my VDOT, based on my presumed VDOT last year, the time I took off of running, and weight I had gained. Daniel’s formula (reference not handy) spit out a VDOT of 45. Pathetic, but I accepted it. The first week of running said that VDOT was actually mighty challenging for me. 3 weeks of running confirmed this VDOT was spot on at Saint Anthony’s. 4 weeks after St. A’s, the Triple T told me I had improved to 52.
I’m getting a bit side tracked here – what’s my point. Last year I hated my long runs. 4 pm on Tuesday would roll around and 100% of the time I would look for other things to do, and a lot of the time I’d actually find something to do. They were hard, uncomfortable, and I didn’t have a good time; but they were fast!!!!
This year I, while I haven’t had any 2+ hour runs (next week will be my first), I’ve actually enjoyed my long runs. As I was getting ready yesterday I felt that feeling of dread come over me, I pushed myself out the door (into the rain), and 1:49 later I walked back into my house thinking “Damn, that was actually fun.” I was a bit sad to see the run end.
My advice – make sure you are running at the right pace for your long run, if you find yourself dreading them, slow down, run the pace you’ve earned. Don’t run the pace you want to run. All you’re likely to do is set yourself up for disappointment, under-performance, or injury.
When my results point me to a new VDOT level, I’ll run faster – no need to spoil the fun by forcing things.
Training Update: I did a fun swim set on Monday: 5x(1×300 @ 4:30 + 1×100 @ 2:00). Distances were SCM, the 300 was swum steady hard, and the 100 was all out. I did the 300’s @ 3:55 – 3:58, and the 100’s on 1:10 to 1:13. I was pleased not only with my performance, but that I also saw the set through – it was rather unpleasant.
Beyond that – not much notable to mention – just keepin’ on, keepin’ on.