Monday, September 7, 2009

Long distance running = Boredom???

I played several sports in high school, and even did track for one season, but distance running NEVER appealed to me. Not only was I terrible at it; I was convinced distance running had to be the most boring activity ever invented. In the last 2 years or so I've been running now I have to admit that I've changed my mind. There are so many different types of challenges in distance running (both physical and mental) that I've come to learn the sport is anything but boring!

What I do struggle with sometimes (as I suspect most runners do) is getting bored with my workout routines. I can tell this is happening when I start getting feelings of dreading the next day's workout-- and not getting the same feeling of accomplishment afterwards. I've been running the same weekly routine (including cross training) for a few months now, and this week it hit me that it's time to change things up. Last Wednesday was a 5 mile run on Katy trail that should have been pretty easy for me. But chalk it up to the heat, fatigue, boredom, or whatever- I found myself REALLY struggling not to quit the last mile. This wasn't the first time this has happened- and usually I'll focus on just making it to the next tree or lamppost, or counting my steps to get myself to the finish. But this time I put my sponsors to good use and tried something different. Tracking my distance on my Garmin, I ran each tenth of a mile for the remainder of my run for each one of my sponsors. So whether you are a current or past marathon mile sponsor, I can assure you that for one-tenth of a mile it was YOU getting me through that part of the run. I thought about your reasons for sponsoring, and the encouragement you've given me both for running and throughout my life...and before I knew it I had finished that run. Thank you!!!!

Saturday was the first race I'd run since the Oklahoma Marathon in April, the DRC Breakfast Bash 5 mile-- which of course was preceeded by a 6 mile warm up to make sure we got in our mileage that weekend. (You gotta love it when your warm up is longer than the actual

The run went well in spite of the humidity-- which I thought maybe we'd gotten a permanent break from (no such luck)! Afterward we enjoyed free breakfast burritos from DRC, and then Ashley and I treated ourselves to a Starbucks trip and I endulged in my favorite pumpkin muffin.

Random picture Amanda (Oklahoma mile sponsor) took after the race on Saturday. I love how she took this off angle--- goes along with how I felt after running 11 miles in that much humidity... lol.

For the next little while I think I'll try re-evaluating my weekly workout plans each month to avoid the burnout problem. Here's the new plan starting this week:

Monday- Morning 5k / 3 miles / Strength Training (new routine)

Tuesday- Morning Yoga / 4 miles

Wednesday- Morning 5k / REST

Thursday- Morning Yoga / 3 mile Hill Workout or Freedom Run 5k Race (still undecided)

Friday- Morning 5k / REST

Saturday- 12 miles

Sunday- Cross-train


Nelson from Garland, Texas said...

Hello, there. Someone IS actually reading these posts, Anna. I look forward to them. You were running strong on Saturday, really strong.

Have a good training week, buddy.

Libby Jones said...

I understand, Anna. I think one of the things I love about distance running, or running of about any distance, is what a mental challenge the whole thing is. I play a lot of mental games on my long runs and all the half marathons I've been doing. I have a mantra for just about every race that I repeat hundreds of times at different moments when I need to pull it out. I'm known to occasionally sing out loud some hugely motivational song I keep in my mental arsenal (I don't run with music). At Monday's hard, hot, humid 15K race, I ended up using the version of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" from the new Fox show Glee. Good energy and uplifting.

I think you are doing a great job of assessing where you are at, and coming up with ways to keep it fresh and GET IT DONE! :-) Keep up the great work!

And like Nelson said, yes, someone IS reading these!