The Sunday Fun Run is Back
There is something so liberating about a run without a plan. Today I had the option of either a fun run or a more structured workout. I didn't even look at the workout. Actually, I wasn't sure how far I'd get after the two large meals I ate yesterday, which reminded me why I prefer to graze than to eat one big meal. Besides, with circumstances outside my control throwing the training plan out the window for most of the past two weeks, a chilled out run sounded perfect and it did not disappoint.
It Can Be Anything I Want It To Be
My training is made up of repetitive mini cycles within the whole training season. I like the framework of a structure. Routine works for me because it allows me to plan my time. My preference seems to bounce between periods of sticking to the routine and then rebelling against it.
Two weeks ago I wanted my routine back and made an effort to stick quite rigidly to my training program. My timing sucked because a series of things got in the way and completely derailed that.
So despite my longing for the security of routine, knowing things will be more set in stone this week, I wanted a free day to just enjoy it. When I finished my warm up I still had no idea how far I would run, what route I would take or how fast or slow I felt like going. It didn't matter. That is the whole point.
Another reason I needed an unstructured fun run was food. Oh, wow. I indulged in a breakfast out at a local restaurant in the morning and then a late lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. The serving sizes at both restaurants were ridiculous. I didn't even manage a quarter of my breakfast and there's still half of it in a box in the fridge. It was really good, but definitely not a meal for one person.
At lunch time I abandoned my usual salad because the menu had changed and I didn't know what to order so I got a plate of meatless nachos. Not the best I've had. I didn't take any photos of the food there because … well, I wasn't particularly excited about them, but I've got most of them sitting in another box in the fridge.
It was just heavier food than I am used to eating and after helping my husband with his chocolate brownie sundae I remembered why I prefer to pick through the day on lighter meals. I didn't know if I'd even manage a run today, but I was so keen to get out I decided to take it a step at a time. I'm so glad I did. It was a fabulous run.
Critters Cause a Detour
Not even a mile into the run I spotted a couple of critters chasing each other around. I actually heard them before I started to look for them and spied them out in the darkness, romping and tumbling around. From the silhouettes they looked like raccoons and I gave them a wide berth and made a sharp U-turn. I like animals but I leave wildlife alone. You never know what you're going to get.
My route ended up being a series of twists and turns, loops and backtracks. I didn't think about where I was going next; I just went wherever my feet took me. It felt so nice to run with blissful abandon and every once in a while a slight breeze blew over my sweaty face and shoulders and felt so refreshing.
The Trail is a Lake
Without thinking, I ended up on the asphalt trail loop that I've avoided since the hurricane. I ran around in the opposite direction to what I usually do and a couple of miles along I realized that I was surrounded by water. A little way ahead, I could see that the trail completely vanished into the mass of water. I forgot about it and wasn't thinking so I had to turn around and find some different streets to run.
This may have bugged me on a different day, but I just ran where my feet took me.
I called it a day at 8.5 miles. What a fantastic run! It wasn't especially fast or even a long distance, but it just felt so good to run freely. Best of all, it was all I needed to set me up with some enthusiasm for the second half of my marathon training plan.
This training cycle has had a lot of bumps – most of them due to my lack of focus. I went into this one so committed to sticking with the program. Somewhere, somehow it feels like it's all been derailed. It's too early to panic, worry or decide how I feel about it yet.
I'm really excited about the race and the course and just the whole weekend in general. Perhaps that's where I'll keep my mind and just enjoy my running. After all, if it's not fun, why do it?
I have purchased some different fuels to experiment with taking in calories from varied sources on my long runs. I'll keep you updated on how it goes. This is always a big worry factor for me because so many things I've tried have made me sick.
On the flip side of that, I'm writing a review on the new things I try, so there will be plenty of those coming up, as well as reviews for my favorite running items. I don't post reviews immediately after trying anything for the first time. I like to give a thorough trial for a fair review on items that I use to give them a chance to prove themselves one way or another.