Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How liking fall and running tempos are alike

Unlike what appears to be the entire rest of the internets, I've never really liked fall.  Changing leaves, crisp temperatures, sure (although truth be told both of those are questionable in both Houston and Southern California; the places I've spent my adult life).

But come on guys.  You know what's coming after those pretty red leaves...darker and darker days.  Soon enough, you're coming home from work and waking up and it's pitch black both times.  The holidays roll around and even if you love the holidays, it can't be denied that it's another awkward few days full of plane travel and awkward conversation.  And then it's January.  JANUARY.  It's dark and cold and you've hit rock bottom in the processional of seasons.



Am I being overly dramatic?  Absolutely, but this sort of how my brain works.  It's always been terribly hard for me to turn my brain off and enjoy the moment.   The "what's next", "you're messing that up", "how will that be in 10 miles or in 10 days" is a constant dialogue and I'm positive that spending so much time this way will be my biggest regret when I'm 80.

Fall is beautiful, just because it is, not because what's coming next.

Which brings me to my beautiful segue into running!  And tempos.  And marathoning.

I haven't signed up for Carlsbad yet, but I have started training for it (as of today) so I think it's a pretty sure thing.  I've flipped through the Hansons book and got a recommendation of Brad Hudson's book as well for a marathon plan.  (Please let me know what has worked for you).

At the same time though, I feel like it's not about WHICH plan I do, it's about actually training correctly for a marathon.  Which includes stuff like doing long marathon pace tempos - something I have never been able to make myself do.  Which is uh....probably why my marathon PR (3:32) is much slower relatively than other distances I've run.   It's kind of a no brainer.

The Hanson's plan has you starting with some 6 mile marathon pace tempos near the start of the plan so I did one of those today.  It was shockingly successful (well...I went too fast if I'm going to say my marathon goal pace is 3:25ish, but I didn't feel like I'm pushing too hard. I'm not going to beat myself up over that.  I'm sure I'll slow it up when these things get up to 10 miles).  The main success was that I actually completed the damn thing without straining, stopping, or hating myself.   It was almost kind of fun!  10 laps around an elementary school / park, and I didn't even run into any 2 year olds.

7:46, 7:36, 7:26, 7:32, 7:28: 7:19.

I almost feel like one of those real running bloggers posting those splits.  You know, the ones that run long tempos and post pics of their garmins and inspire people and shit?  Yeah...one day :).

(No, I did not complete this run before 4 AM.  I roll up at work at like 9:45 AM so....)

Anyways, I guess the point of this post is that sitting back and enjoying the moment is key.  Whether it's being 1 mile into a tempo run, 1 week into a marathon training plan, or just enjoying October.  Trying to avoid worrying about what will happen later or what's happening next month is a good way for me to be a happier person and be ultimately more successful as well.

Now help me remember that the next time I'm freaking out.

9 comments:

  1. This is exactly how I feel about fall. I love the cooler temps (perfect for running, but not miserable), and the crunchy changing leaves are pretty to look at, but that's about where my enjoyment ends. I'd trade the pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING and OMGBOOTWEATHER for longer days and mild temperatures in a heartbeat. And just as awful as January? February. At least in NJ. Woof.

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    1. Haha glad there's a fellow hater in the house!

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  2. Fall is cross country season though! Do you not still celebrate that as an adult??

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    1. I cannot get through a fall without thinking "wow this is right around when districts used to be". And then I imagine us winning regionals and cooling down signing "we are the champions". You know...know that I'm living in the past or anything :)

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  3. Those are some good splits--I think this cycle is going to go well for you. FWIW, I tried to do just that with my training cycle for Chicago--enjoy the small successes, the good runs (and the fall weather!)--and it paid off with that long-sought BQ on Sunday. 3:44:06--a squeaker but a 9-min PR and the real BQ deal. You'll get that 3:25 and probably better. :^)

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    1. I know I emailed you but this warrants a public reply as well. CONGRATS ON YOUR BQ. If anyone deserved it it was def you :)

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  4. Do you have Fall in LA? I love Houston "Fall," but we dont have any of the leaf color changing stuff. It just means it is in the 70s/80s. It was dark when I got to work the other day, though, and that was very sad.

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    1. Houston Fall is pretty great once it hits November! I think you have to live in So Cal for like 4 years before you start feeling the nuances of seasons here :)

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  5. I'm the same way. As much as I love Fall and try to enjoy how beautiful Seattle is right now, part of me is thinking about how much the weather is gonna suck in just another month, and how I'm going to hate doing most of my runs in the dark. Thanks for the reminder to live in the moment!

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