Marathon Training Journal: Day 21 – Fun Run
There's something about a run with no plan that is so liberating. It's like being given free time.
I get a similar feeling from my Sunday run (or runs, if I do two) as I do from my recovery day. The difference is that I still get to run on a Sunday; or not run. Breaking free from a program without taking a total day off gives a new sense of freshness to the week ahead.
I get to sleep a bit later on a Sunday. That is a really big deal for me. I still get up early, but I'm spoiled with an extra hour and a half of sleep. Between that and the day off on Saturdays I'm usually feeling pretty fresh when I head out on Sundays.
The other nice thing is it's a shorter run and I can take my time when I get back. So if I want to take a photo of a sunrise or drink my coffee outside (I love to do that when it's quiet in the morning), there's nothing stopping me. As long as I'm back before the dogs want to go out.
Then comes the really good part. I take a shower and go back to bed for an hour.
The Morning Run
My unstructured run – or fun run – was somewhere around 7 miles. Don't ask what my pace was, because on Sunday it doesn't matter. Although I did wear my Garmin, I didn't actually look, but it felt really good and that's the whole point. As is the flavor of the season, I got back suitably sweaty and thirsty.
I spent some time getting some good stretches in; especially my hips and lower legs. Those are the areas that seem to call for the most maintenance and I try not to wait for them to throw me signals before I address them. Besides, I like stretching. It always feels so good. When I was little I thought if I stretched a lot I'd be tall. Apparently that was all lies, but it doesn't stop me.
Leaving later means the sky is already radiating color when I set out. It's like nature's mood-warmup. My calves were super tight for the first few miles so I stopped to stretch them out a bit. Once I got distracted by random thoughts that don't really fit together, I forgot about the stiff lower legs and when I did think about them again, they were fine. Maybe they were just crying for a shake-out.
I didn't have coffee this morning. Juice made a nice start though; I just needed something cold.
Busy, Busy, Busy
It was a non-stop day all day. That is a typical Sunday for us in this house. My husband and I both work from home and we have some other little business ventures we work on over the weekends and in the evenings. This adds to the things piled up from the day before when we try to get out of the house for a good part of the day to stop us from getting sucked into tasks that can wait a day.
It's also house cleaning, laundry and food prep day so I probably painted the whole picture with no need for an explanation.
Sometimes I forget during a non-stop day that I haven't eaten as well as I should so I try make sure I have something nutritious to snack on. I love tempeh chips and I'm still trying to perfect my own salsa. I need to get my father-in-law's recipe. But this works well with the tempeh.
Do I Run Tonight?
I don't usually plan to run on a Sunday evening. Lately I have been getting in a few miles though. It gives me a good break and the fresh air does wonders for me, but I leave it as a ‘take it as it comes' decision and tend to decide in the moment.
Today I decided to run. We had a thunderstorm this afternoon and it took the edge off of the heat so it was surprisingly pleasant outside around 6:30 pm. Without giving it much thought, I got changed, laced up my running shoes and went for a quick 4 mile spin before dinner.
In the morning when I get back it's easy to quickly get a few photos outside before the dogs are out. In the evening, I have my greatest fan club. You'll notice I don't feature in this photo. The little furry friends are always so excited to see me and picture me, dripping with sweat and their dirty paws …. it only takes 30 seconds for me to look like I've been down a coal mine! But they are so cute it's impossible to get mad at them. And they are always excited about my run!
How can you have a bad day when you end it with cuddly puppies? I like my Sunday runs.
I can't believe I'm already 21 days into this training plan. It seemed so far off when I marked it on my calendar. I think the break I took earlier this year where I could just run freely and let my mood for the day guide me served me well.
Tomorrow is another full day. Not so much in the house, but it's a full training day. I will be back with my report.