Strides, Rain, and Fun — September 2, 2021

What I am thinking about this morning?

The remnants of Hurricane Ida are just about through our area, the rain is slacking off, the winds, while never all that bad, are continuing to diminish. Needless to say, we were lucky that it had weakened so much and went to the South of where we live.

Overall, I am feeling crappy and a bit fatigued. It seems that I am always tired lately and probably do need a few days off. Maybe a vacation is in order at some point this Fall. Well…if the COVID-19 numbers ever get back to reasonable — that is.

I think Bennie had the best idea yesterday and probably what I should be doing today.

However, I have a feeling that those will come naturally over the course of the next few weeks, so for now, I will run by feel. This means that I am going to run mostly easy and have fun with my running while being more flexible about what I do daily.

I have a feeling that my training will be a mishmash of Hanson’s Half Marathon and Run Happy training programs until I get a handle on what is going on and the direction I want to go.

However, developing a training plan that works the way I do is more an art and a constantly moving target as I keep moving forward to keep up with the changes that life throws at me. That getting old stuff, a pandemic, life beyond running, injuries, technology, and all those other things that seem to change more rapidly than I can adapt to.

I am slowly learning that I cannot and do not have to try every new technology, training idea, injury prevention hack/regimen or heaven forbid — new running shoes. It is more important to find what works for me, train consistently, and get back to making running fun, along with making it my running again.

This means that I still have things to think about when it comes to my running going forward. All I know is that I was not happy with how I felt about running during the last month or so. Running may be science-based and using algorithms may be the future of training for many, especially those who depend on it to make a living, and those who yearn to achieve elite level/age group achievements.

Mostly, I need to figure out how much tech is enough tech, and what tech is too much tech. I won’t give up my GPS watch, but the rest of the stuff and the number of online sites I have to visualize the data points, do seem to be overkill. There is a happy medium, I just have to find it.

Today, the plan is for me to run an easy 6.0 miles and do 6-8 strides starting about halfway through. However, instead of having the watch cue me, I will use telephone poles to determine the length of the strides (old-school).

I am planning on running in the Energy 2’s or RunFast v1’s. Even though the rain should be mostly done, but the roads will still be wet, and going through the dirt road segment might be a bit too slimy for the Carbon X2’s.

What Did I do?

At the last minute, I changed my mind on what I was going to do for a run. It was still nasty, outside and honestly, I didn’t feel like dealing with the elements for 6.0 miles. I decided to do 3-4 miles and 6-8 strides in the middle and since I was going to stay on tar, I wore the Carbon X2’s (it was a good choice).

I did a couple of laps to get the body warmed-up and get myself more in the mood to run faster. Instead of doing :30 second strides as dictated by Stryd, I decided to do two telephone pole strides, which usually is between 25-30 seconds for me.

The warm-up was nothing special, besides getting wet and enjoying the weather. Yeah, I actually enjoy running in this weather, a lot more than the hot/humid stuff, and have had some of my best runs in it.

I wasn’t attempting to set any speed records on the strides, I wanted to get around my dream 5K pace and hold it to the end. The first few were uninspired efforts and everything felt rather clunky. Starting with the fourth one, I did better, although I had to play games with myself to get myself to do all eight.

Today’s faster stuff felt a LOT better than Tuesday’s track workout, and even though I felt like crap before the run, the strides seemed to perk me up a little. After that, I cooled down with a lap and needed to do one more 2 telephone pole stride to get over 4.0 miles.

While I wasn’t purposely trying, somehow I managed to set a new CR for me on this Strava segment. Which, when I saw it, surprised me, to say the least. I have run this course on Strava for several years and never expected to see that gold medal on my status again for this segment. So, maybe there is hope for these old legs.

The Hoka Carbon X2’s, while not a great short-distance shoe, can get up and move pretty well under the right conditions. It is also quite a bit firmer than people expect, which makes a difference for me, at least, when attempting to run faster. Now, I just have to re-teach the body how to run fast again.

Why do I say re-teach?

I felt awkward running faster this morning, it was almost as though I have been running so many slower-paced runs lately that the body has forgotten how to run faster. My breathing was good and while I felt as though I had another gear, the legs didn’t know how to access it.

This is part of the changes in my training that I need to work on. I need to run smoothly when I run fast, versus how I felt this morning.

Yeah, I need to do a lot of work in too many areas, so it seems. 🙂

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