Monday, June 25, 2012

Sometimes "pace" is not what makes you slow

"Are you done yet?" 

That's what Hubby asked me when he called my cell phone during my 16-mile long run yesterday.  Well, yes, indeed, I was almost done....a quarter-mile to go.
Me: "Why do you ask?"  Him: "Well, you realize you have been out for almost four hours, right?  Did you have to do a lot of stops?"  Me: "Um, I guess so."
Oops.  Methinks someone was a bit irritated with me.

Have you ever had one of those days where the time on your running watch just didn't jive with the time as shown on the clock in the car, at home, or,... say... on your spouse's wristwatch?  It seems to happen to me a lot, and I don't know why.  As far as yesterday is concerned, I am still trying to figure out what went wrong.

For the most part, I believe in letting my Garmin do its thing from the time I start a run to the time I stop....with a few minor exceptions.  For example, yesterday, I will admit I did stop my watch to take a picture or two.  And, one time I may have even forgotten to restart it for about a quarter mile or so after said picture taking.  Then, I guess there were the times I stopped to do the necessities: potty break, shirt change (sweated through), shoe change (moving from roads to trails), hydration refill (x2).  Then there were the five or six times I had to stop and stretch because my hamstring, glute, and hip all seemed to be unhappy with me.  Okay, now that I think about it, I guess I stopped the watch during a few walk breaks, too - like the four times I strolled along eating my Clif Blocks while taking in the local scenery.

(It was worth taking in, right?)

Hmm, okay, I guess I might have had a bit of unaccounted time in there.  Although this didn't bother me too much, I suppose it did mess with Hubby's schedule somewhat.  Considering that I came home to two kids bouncing off the walls and him all dressed up and ready to run with no place to go, I could see why he was a bit irritated.

So, why do I stop the watch so much?  Well, to me it makes sense to stop it when you are not enjoying forward progress.  Is it really fair to let time roll when I am in the outhouse?  Or changing shoes?  That wouldn't accurately reflect my running time.  Of course, I suppose if it takes me five minutes to refill a water bottle, that probably doesn't accurately reflect my efforts either.  After all, that's a nice little break for my body that it wouldn't get in a race.

I have no explanation for not recording my time while eating Clif Blocks. I hang my head in shame on that one.  Thinking back, it just feels wrong - like walking across the shallow end of the pool when you are supposed to be swimming laps (not that I have ever done that of course).  Really, and how does it help me?  In the end, I actually end up with a "faster" time, but I also end up going further than my goal distance.  Something to think about.

So, yesterday's long run was good in the sense that I got it done.  I would be lying if I said my confidence hadn't been a little shaken by my failed long run from the weekend before.  I have never had to call for a ride during a run, and I was a bit worried I would get out there yesterday and feel I had to scrap it again.  Despite a hinky hamstring, that didn't happen.  In fact, mentally I was in a much better place than I was a week ago.  Instead of looking at six miles to go and thinking Oh gawd, I'd rather just sit on this bench and stare at the river, ...

... six miles to go was rather celebratory.... Yay! just six miles.  Compared to the 10 I had just done, that seemed like nothing.

I am disappointed that my left hip/hamstring/glute (I'm having a hard time pinpointing what exactly the issue is) still seems to be irritated with me.  Given the successful speed session and hill workout on the treadmill this past week, I thought we had moved past the little irritation I had felt pop up a week and a half ago.  It was a major disappointment to find that it is still hanging in there and unhappy with me to boot.  I might actually have to scrap my track workout this week, but we'll see how things go.  One day at a time.

In the meantime, check out this amazing sorbet that Hubby whipped up with frozen strawberries (that we picked ourselves), soymilk, sugar, and vanilla.  Although looking at the picture, I think I see why one shouldn't photograph their food.  Does anyone else see a little dog in there saying Oooohhhhhh Noooooo! a la Mr. Bill?  No?  Okay, it's just me then.

Well, dog or no dog, this is still a better dessert than what I had yesterday....

This is something I normally never would eat, but Hubby bought a stack of these things in preparation for his 100-miler, and we still have a bunch sitting around the house.  Very dangerous apparently.  I am such a sucker for dark chocolate.  Oh well....

Happy Running!

What's your policy on watch stopping during training runs? Forget it? Do it all the time? Don't wear a watch?

Have you indulged in a guilty food treat recently? How did it make you feel?

How do you know when to pull the plug on a long run when feeling discomfort? Okay to keep going if you can stretch it away for a bit?


  1. Uggg!! I've have to say….guilty on all counts for me at one time or another. Doesn't matter that we are not super heros. Slow is not a 4 letter word in my book, although fast sometimes is. Now I say, just run…any run and keep running 3 miles or 30 miles…all those miles should be enjoyed and celebrated! :D

    1. Aww, as always, I LOVE your attitude, Ann! Just run. That's what I want to be doing, and you're right...slow is not necessarily a four-letter word. Hmm, however, lollygag might be. LOL

  2. YES, YES and YES. I'm just happy to be out running with my son or dog or both. I do like the challange and pushing myself. Oh and I run pretty much so I can eat that guilty treat. Caramelo's are more my poison though.

  3. I never focus much on my pace. I normally run a pretty steady pace but it's definitely not speedy compared to most!