Thursday, May 17, 2007
Note to Beginners: Learn to recognize when less is more
At 47 years old, I've been running off and on for more than 35 years, and been what I would consider a serious marathoner for the last 10 years. Last month, I resumed running after a 2 month self-imposed layoff from an injury, and since starting back running, it has been sporadic at best these last 30 days mainly due to family and business commitments. Yesterday I finally got a break and went out and ran a fairly solid 5+ mile run. This morning, I got up and swam 1600m around 6:30, came home, and since we are having nice weather in Houston today, decided to run a 7.5 mile route I have at lunch. I was really looking forward to it because our low humidity days are few and far between (65% right now, and yes for those of you in dry areas, that is LOW for us). As excited as I was to get out, I could tell in the first 100 yards or so that my body just didn't have it today. As I approached my first half-mile point, it wasn't getting any better. That is when I came to a literal and figurative cross-roads. There is an intersection where if I go right, I do my 7.5 mile route. If I go left, I do 3.0 miles. 10-20 years ago, I would have been stupid and stubborn and done the 7.5 miles, no matter what. Today, I turned left and did the 3.0 mile run and that was pretty much all I had in me. One of my personal sayings is "Train to run another day." People get so caught up with "well, I had planned to run x number of miles today, and if I don't, it will throw my schedule off." I have learned it is important to be consistent, and at the same time, flexible. Therefore, learn to be consistently flexible. I may very well head out the door tomorrow to do 7.5 miles again and feel incredible, but I also might have a repeat performance of today. If you are a beginner, accept that there will be great, good, fair and poor days, and you'll do fine.