Saturday, March 16, 2013

The one where I run a lot

Of course, "the one where I run a lot" isn't that descriptive, as that is all I seem to do. I really wanted to keep that title for an overview of my assault on a Marathon Maniac's Iridium four-star level.  Seeing as I haven't written since then, it seemed better to start where I left off and work up.

So, that "running a lot". How far is "a lot".  This has been a monster running week; 110.92 km according to Garmin. Yeah, I "should" have done that extra 80 m but surprisingly, I'm not losing sleep over it.  Again, according to Garmin, that's 9000 calories burned.  Garmin may overestimate calorie-burn, so if we go by the 100 cal/mile R.O.T., then that's 6600 calories.  Either way, 9000 or 6600 calories, that's between two and three days-worth food burned this week just running, which explains why I can't stop eating this week.  Seriously, I could eat a horse, which of course in the UK has gone from a charming expression to a expression of reality.

It sounds like a lot, but it goes with the long run, which is supposed to be 25-30% of your weekly mileage. So that fits in nicely with that 35 km Tour de Dartmouth last Sunday with the guys.

It's funny, this monster mileage, because I'm not sure about my racing plans this spring. I'm pace-bunnying the Bluenose Full, but after that not sure.  So, why the 35km?  It was fun.  In fact, all this pace-bunnying has had an unintended consequence. I think I've become lazy.  I've realised just how much fun running, and running a marathon, can be when you're not turning yourself inside out to get a BQ.  Denise and I had a chat about this last week, and it seems that she has also re-discovered a joy of running for running's sake.  Where running is not a means to an end, but the end itself.

Last week's long run started at 07:20; early enough for a Monty Python Four Yorkshireman reference about having to get up half an hour before going to bed.

By 'eck tha' Tim Brooke-Taylor 'as an awful Yorkshu accent!

Starting that early made me think of a trend that I'm starting to see.  Not in my group necessarily, but in conversations I have and overhear.  It can be distilled simply to the phrase; 

"we're going to start early so I can get it [my long run, by bike ride] out of the way and have the rest of my day"

Sure, once in a while it may be necessary to start early so you can get something else done that day; last week one of our number had to be out at the airport at 10 and, all grumbling aside, we were happy to accommodate him.  On a regular basis though?  I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to ask you to hand in your running (or cycling) card. 

Running (or cycling) is the reason why we get up on a Sunday earlier than we do to go to work.  Running (or cycling) is the objective of the day.   Running (or cycling) is a pleasurable activity in and of itself.  If its important to you, give it the time it deserves.   I will agree that as something large, like a marathon or an Ironman hoves into view, workouts may become longer, harder, more brutal, and I'm certainly not advocating not taking a two hour run lightly, but once this attitude starts, then running (or cycling) becomes a chore, viz "I have to go running" rather than "Yey, let's go running".

So, let's put the fun back in running.  You don't have to do it; this isn't some junior-high gym-period. You made a choice, as a grown adult, to be here so quit whinging and have fun!


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