The Wisdom

I’ve been thinking about this one for a while, but recently I’ve read a few posts from other running bloggers that made me think we all could use a small reminder or introduction to The Wisdom. Not to be preachy, but hopefully encouraging to everyone. We’re all going through different struggles. Here’s The Wisdom:

  • Don’t Worry
  • Don’t Compare
  • Don’t Expect Too Fast
  • Be Kind to Yourself

Let me be clear, The Wisdom is not mine. I enjoy watching Tomo Fujita and I’ve learned a lot from him, even though I’m not much of a guitar player. This comes from his course, Guitar Wisdom; since I’ve appropriated it for my running thought process, I renamed it simply The Wisdom.

______

Today’s run was nice — I’d planned to do a long run today, but my allergies were making a full on assault this morning. I think June’s going to be a lower-mileage month when it all shakes out.

There were several hot-air balloons in the sky over Memorial Park on the south east side of town this morning — I always think that’s cool. The sky was a somewhat-welcome overcast today. For those of you living in really hot areas, our week of hot temps (~90°F/~33&degC;) and somewhat humid conditions seem a piffling trifle. But this hot this early in the year — and any sustained humidity — is rare (my daughter compared it to a summer visit to Kansas).

Today’s Stats
3.51 m
0:37:22 h:mm:ss
10:38 avg pace

No route map since I ran from my house today.

Rough Run

I won’t lie — today’s run was rough.

I opted to run the Mesa Road Loop and set out just after the sun rose above the horizon to the east. It was a little cloudy and humid (well, for Colorado), and the sun was a bright red flat disk in the sky — beautiful.

I was a little stiff when I started out, but quickly worked through that. But I think I was a bit dehydrated and it wasn’t too long before I was just feeling run down and out of energy.

I finished up through sheer determination, I think. But I finished.

Today’s Stats
6.01 m
1:07:10 h:mm:ss
11:10 avg pace

No route map since I ran from my house today.

Busy Day, Short Run

I have a busy afternoon, so I wanted to get a jump on my day; so I went for a short run today: the 5K from the house run.

It’s been humid lately — well, humid for Colorado, anyway… it’s not the real humidity other places get. It’s usually really dry. I don’t mind it, too much.

Okay, I know it’s short post. Have a great day.

Today’s Stats
3.51 m
0:36:02 h:mm:ss
10:16 avg pace

No route map since I ran from my house today.

Slight Miscalculation

I was aiming to add a mile to my large park loop from the house, so I met with Sinton Trail at Centennial instead of winding through the neighborhood to meet it. And I ran down the more familiar, east side of the river in the park instead of across Popsicle Bridge. This meant I had to run all the way down to Uintah to turn around…

I knew I was going to be in “trouble” when I hit six miles and wasn’t yet to the parking lot on the Fontanaro side of the park… I know from that parking lot, it’s 2.25 miles back to the house… Uphill.

I took it slowly and about 3 miles in was estimating my finishing average pace. I was only off by ~7 seconds. I clocked in at 8.53 miles, earning two badges from TomTom: 3rd longest run and fastest 12-24K… I guess that means it wasn’t an utter failure.

Today’s Stats
8.53 m
1:39:08 h:mm:ss
11:36 avg pace

No route map since I ran from my house today. Interesting thing: I ran off 2.3 pounds on this run. It’s not real, those pounds won’t stay off: once I rehydrate and eat it’ll be back, no doubt; but I thought it was interesting.

A Change of Scenery

Well, not really. I just got up and drove the park for my run this morning. It’s been a while since I’ve done my run in the park, not including the Yardstick Run.

It’s been nice just getting up and going out for runs from the house, but I do like the park as well. Scenery fatigue probably isn’t a thing, but that’s what it sort of feels like when I’ve run the same routes all the time.

I’ve never run so consistently in the past, and it’s never really come up before. Anyway, I cranked out a 5K — I’m still a little sore from Saturday/Monday. Maybe running a sub-9 pace isn’t a good thing for an old fart like me to do! Anyway, while I didn’t feel up to a long run, I apparently did this one pretty quickly — faster than Monday’s.

It is nice to run in the park again. It’s become quite lush since my last few runs there, the trees finally realized it was Spring and decided to fill in.

Today’s Stats
3.11 m
0:31:45 h:mm:ss
10:11 avg pace

Today’s route

The Struggle

The struggle, as the ubiquitous they say, is real.

But unlike the Five Stages, today’s struggle for me was physical, not mental: I was sore from Saturday’s run, which definitely contributed to today’s struggle.

Since I was sore, I opted for a short run, and I didn’t push myself too hard. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak.

Today’s Stats
3.51 m
0:36:37 h:mm:ss
10:26 avg pace

June 2021 Yardstick Run

Today’s goal was simple: Beat 18:58.

Last month, I finished in 19:02. I thought at the time my fastest Nielson run time was 18:50 or so, from October of 2017. When I looked it up, though, I realized instead of being 12 seconds off my fastest time, I was only four: the fastest Nielson time was 18:58.

As I said in my May Wrap Up post, beating my fastest time in June became a goal.

It’s been a while since I’ve run in the park: I’ve been running from my house lately. I set off feeling pretty good, aiming for 9:15 or so pace. I could feel I was making good time, and felt confident I’d done it when I finished… but I didn’t let myself look at the result until I got home and synced my watch.

Nice!

Today’s Stats
2.05 m
0:18:13 h:mm:ss
8:52 avg pace

Today’s route

Five Stages

The stuff that goes through my mind when I’m running… Coupled with my weird sense of humor, and I recently realized during a run the Five Stages are part of the running process too:

1. Denial: Ugh, I’m not going to run today.

2. Anger: Dang it, why’d I have to commit myself to this running goal?! I hate running.

3. Bargaining: What if I eat less today? Can I skip the run then? I swear, I’ll run tomorrow instead… twice as far!

4. Depression: oh i just want to sit here, in the dark, not running… this chocolate syrup won’t eat itself…

5. Acceptance: I love this! I could run forever! How could I have ever thought of not running today!

I don’t think it matters the activity, to be honest, some version of this probably gets acted out (Maybe not the depression stage). I sometimes have to really motivate myself to get going as I’m sitting there on the couch, dressed, shoes laced up, but still waiting for that final push to get up and go out. And once I’m out — or at least, once I’m done with my run — I’m glad I did it (or relieved it’s done).

Whether glad to have run or relieved it’s finally done, I’m always grateful I have the ability to run and the capacity to choose. Today I did an easy 3 miles. Tomorrow, I go for a Yardstick PR.

Hope you have a good weekend.

Today’s Stats
3.35 m
0:35:02 h:mm:ss
10:26 avg pace

No run route map today since I ran from my house.

Hello, June

I can’t believe it’s June already. One of the saddest days of the year is in June: the summer solstice! I have been enjoying running from my house, but I will have to get back to the park to do some more running soon, I think — I’m starting to miss the variety (and packed dirt).

Today I ran the Mesa Loop, a route I estimate is 60-70% uphill if you run it clockwise, like I do. Mesa has a deceptive grade that lures you in. It’s uphill, you know, but it’s not too bad. Then you round a small bend and see the grade doubles and you’re not far enough to justify turning around and so you soldier on. It eventually drops off in front of Garden of the Gods, a view at sunrise that makes the climb of the last 2.5 miles worth it and you’re dropping downhill for a little bit, but it’s not all downhill. The terrain undulates finally you crest another hidden steep hilltop another mile on… then it’s sustained downhill along Garden of the Gods (the road) and the top of Sinton Trail until I start the climb back up Centennial.

I think my TomTom is starting to get a little loopy in its old age: it’s called this my fastest 10K, even though I’m .18 short of a 10K. I’ll have to take it easy on Friday since I’m going for a PR on my Yardstick Run for June.

Today’s Stats
6.02 m
1:04:23 h:mm:ss
10:41 avg pace

No run route map today since I ran from my house.

May Wrap Up

It’s hard to say if today’s weather was a light rain or a heavy drizzle, but I’d probably lean toward heavy drizzle. I woke up, and put on my running clothes, and headed out into the wet, gray morning — before I had a chance to talk myself out of it.

I ran a similar route to the last two Wednesdays’s runs — from my house down to the park, along the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail up Sinton Trail. It was varying degrees of drizzle the whole time, but at least I wasn’t in danger of overheating.

May Goals

  • Have fun at the 5K
  • More six-mile runs
  • Run 7 miles… slower

May brought me my fastest 5K during the Scheels Virtual 5K (part 1). My friends wanted to run it together, so I ran it twice that day. Once in the morning for my time and once in the evening with them. It was a good time — even if you consider the goose terror. So my fastest 5K run is now 30:04… I bet I can shave 5 seconds off a 5k.

I ran 6 6-plus-mile runs this month. Not too shabby. I ran not one, but two 7-mile runs. Unfortunately, one of those was when I left my watch at home. For both of them though, I wasn’t completely annoyed by the run when I was finished, like I was the first time I did this year. I had planned to plateau at 7 miles anyway, so this is where I’ll be for a while.

I’m going to list the May data in the chart below as “empirical/actual” since the TomTom chart doesn’t show that one run. Since I ran the same route as my previous 7-mile run in a similar time, I’m using that run time for both.

Here’s how May stacked up to April.

Category April May
Activities 14 14/15
Longest Run Time 1:15:16 h:mm:ss 1:17:14 h:mm:ss
Distance 64.94 mi 60.17/67.21 mi
Avg Dist 4.64 mi 4.3/4.48 mi
Avg Active Time 50:12 mm:ss 45:57/48:02 mm:ss

June Goals

  • Sub 18:58 Yardstick
  • Re-discipline my eating
  • Continue What I’m Doing

I was only 4 seconds off my best time for my May Yardstick run. I thought it was closer to 12 seconds, but when I looked it up and realized my fastest Nielson was only 4 seconds away, I decided right then to make beating that time a goal for June. We’ll find out on Saturday.

I’m within sniffing distance of 219/the “two-teens” but I’ve been wavering in my portion control discipline lately. So I’m going to work on that and hope that drops me down into the 2-teens. I’m not overly concerned with the actual weight, so I’m not putting 215 by the end of June as an official goal. The wins come in different forms than numbers on a scale. I bought a pair of 36-inch waist shorts that fit comfortably and I’m pretty close to using the 4th belt notch on my belt. That one has never been used. So the weight’s coming off, or the fat is (which is more important to me). But this isn’t my primary concern, I just mention it as an explanation for the second June Goal.

Finally, is it a cop out to say “keep doing what you’re doing” as a goal? I have struggled a little with motivation the last couple of weeks, but I enjoy the runs whenever I get out there and do them.

Cheers!

Today’s Stats
6.32 m
1:10:22 h:mm:ss
11:07 avg pace

No run route map today since I ran from my house.