Running is meant to be done outside, isn’t it? I know there are circumstances where a treadmill is necessary- but it’s always better outside.
Today’s run just served as another example of that truism. Until now, I had only done speedwork on the treadmill. As I elaborated in one of my first posts, I don’t have a running watch, and being relatively new at running I’m unsure how I should pace myself for speedwork on the road. The treadmill was a good way of doing regular, set intervals and ensuring that I didn’t slow down halfway through (cheat, basically).
This morning I had vaguely set a goal of trying some sort of speedwork. I decided to do my favorite running route- straight down Commonwealth Ave to where it meet Mount Vernon and back, a nice, easy, flat 4.77 miles. I’m not sure why I love running it in the mornings, but I do. Because it’s flat, it’s well suited for trying sprints or whatever.
I know I should have had a better, more specific plan than just ‘speedwork’ but sometimes, at 5:30 in the morning, just putting one leg in front of the other is all I can muster.
Initially, I thought this was going to be one of those mornings. My legs were just stiff and heavy feeling. After going slow for about 10 minutes, I tried sprinting every other block, but that just didn’t feel right either. I didn’t want to hurt myself since my body had just gotten out of bed, so I just kept taking it slow.
Then, around 1.5 miles, something came over me. I’m not sure what, but I just started picking up the pace. I ran at a really good clip for the next mile, to the end of Commonwealth- without a watch I’m not exactly sure of my pacing, but I could feel my heart rate elevate and breathing accelerate so I know it was faster than normal for sure. It felt great pushing myself like that!
I forced myself to slow for a bit at the turn around- again, wanted to make sure I didn’t get injured. But I followed this pattern two more times, and by the end of the run I definitely felt more fatigued than my usual runs. I came back feeling completely elated, as only a tough but good workout can do. And it just felt so much better breathing in fresh air than stale gym air.
And as reward, my husband brought me a chocolate peanut butter cupcake from Best Buns, the best cupcake bakers in the DC area! And here’s a picture of it, taken with my new camera that arrived on Monday. (Told you chocolate peanut butter cupcakes would make an appearance.)