Runderful - adj - a word used to describe a great running experience. The word is usually followed by an exclamation mark.
Someone must've thought this term up before me. But if not, it describes how I feel between 1 and 4 hours every day.
Such a good week for running...
I didn't do anything that was personally noteworthy, in terms of running, until yesterday. But the week, on the whole, was wonderful. The mornings were sunny and cool without too much wind. Monday and Tuesday, as mentioned in a previous post were spent with quick beach runs in St. Augustine (actually Vilano Beach just outside of St. Aug): lots of sea shells crunching underfoot, random dolphin sightings, and gorgeous sun-speckled waves. Upon returning to Kansas, I spent the rest of the work week knocking out runs on my 4 mile course that crosses over pavement, asphalt, and gravel roads (gravel being my favorite surface, seriously).
For Saturday, I wanted to see what form I am in for a longer run. Since my knee surgery last Winter, the longest couple of runs I had done were half-marathon distances. I was able to knock those out with little difficulty at between an 8 and 9 min/mile pace. Neither had been a race, so I generally don't push myself too much on training runs. So Saturday, my plan was to do a couple of 8.5 - ish mile loops on the River Trails. I thought I'd take it easy on the first loop, and then either crush or survive the second - one never knows how one will feel in running from day to day.
Before the run, I stopped off at the Farmer's Market. It was 7 a.m., and I was one of the first people there, which meant I had the pick of the choicest produce. Since I was a bit anxious to get running, I did a quick circuit of the market, and bought a few vegan baked goods, some awesome looking kale, and radishes. Then I made tracks for the trails.
For the first circuit, I took off with a raw bar, a gel shot, and some water. Because it was warm, I had also thrown in a few potassium tabs, vitamin Cs, and an oregano salt cap. The first 8.5 mi proved to be beautiful, yet uneventful. I finished the loop, changed shirts, and replenished supplies in under two minutes, and set off again. I try not to stop on long runs (with the exception of Coleen's - which has a vegan smorgasbord after every 3 mile loop), because I get cold and stiff very quickly. Getting cold and stiff only seems to be a good thing if you're dead, though you'll never really be able to report otherwise....
Anyway, I set off again. I had no real issues. I didn't increase my speed, because I didn't want to induce the weird calf cramps I get in runs right around mile 10. I held my pace right up until mile 11, when I was pretty sure the cramps weren't going to hit. I wasn't setting any land speed records, but everything was in order. At mile 14 I got a weird tightness in my right hamstring - a muscle that has never bothered me. I stopped and walked for 100 meters or so, and it went away. At mile 16, I tripped and rolled my ankle. It really hurt. I was mainly irked that I had stopped paying attention to the trail, and had allowed that to happen. I started to limp the final mile, but then thought does it really matter?, and took off running again. If my ankle was screwed, I'd deal with it on Sunday. One quick jump over a black snake and a few minutes later I popped into the parking lot for the second, and final time.
later in the day I felt a little tightness in my quads, but nothing major.I have felt both better and worse after some longer runs. So I think I'm on track for a nice little solo 50k sometime in the future. I hope to increase my weekly mileage from the typical 30s into the 40s and 50s for a few months. I plan to have a couple of 20+ long runs coming up in the next 2-4 weeks, and then see where I want to go from there. As usual, I'm not really working toward any specific goal. I never have a race in the future that I'm targeting. I just like to run. I really respect my friends who run, set PRs, and sometimes even win races. I just find that the race situation puts too much psychic pressure on me. While races invigorate and inspire others, I find training for a specific event (other than Coleen's), to be a bit oppressive. Maybe all races and runs should be like Coleen's - run 3 miles, break for 5-15 minutes to eat and chat, then repeat the process 2-15 times. Yeah, that sounds about right....