My journey as a long distance runner who started the sport later in life.
I went out for a very hot and humid 10K run today. Sunday has traditionally been my long, slow distance day, but what does that even mean without a goal race in sight? I am still drifting in a goal-free abyss. This leaves me alternating between the joy and freedom to run when and where I choose and the apathy of not really needing to run at all. It also leaves me deciding upon an arbitrary distance. What defines a long run in any case?
This morning I was determined to get back out there after a three-day hiatus from running (and exercise in general, for that matter). I didn’t really want to go: this hot and humid weather leaves me less interested in exercise, but I forced myself to get out there before daytime heating became too severe. I didn’t have a route in mind, so I chose streets as I ran, eventually settling in to part of what is usually an 18K training route. I didn’t have a desired pace, but I settled back in to what I always end up running, about 7 min/km.
Running has become extremely predictable for me, and with a full time job and young kids I don’t think I have the time that is required to really make lasting improvements to pace and finish times. I know I can run faster now for shorter periods of time, but the heat, the day, my mind all cause me to settle back in to a familiar routine. It’s even easier to slow down and take a walk break when there is no goal race! The only new thing I have thought to add to spice up my runs is pictures of murals when I see them. Running in an industrial, foreign city in the semi-desert has left me wanting for running excitement!