I had to pull the plug on a planned 10 mile cutdown yesterday. The Tonbridge Wells half is still in my legs from Sunday. I don’t actually race all-out very often, particularly at the half marathon distance, but I have come to learn the signs of fatigue, sometimes the hard way.
When your body talks, listen, before it starts to scream. I had dropped from around 8:30 to 6:30/mile over 7 miles. I wanted to get down to 6:00/mile but I was really struggling to maintain my cadence and could feel my form beginning to falter. I wasn’t ‘effort’ tired, I was all over fatigued, yawning lots throughout the workout. I ran the last 3 miles home easy pace with some form drills.
This is just one example of the topsy-turvy world that is running. A pace I held for 13.1 miles on Sunday, I could barely breath after a mile of it on Tuesday – so it goes.
Anyway, I decided to schedule an easy day today. In years gone by that would have been a day off…from everything. Definitely no running and most likely no physical activity. Today entailed a body conditioning class in the a.m, with a few strength exercises afterwards and an easy 4 miles this afternoon.
That 4 miles was one of the best runs I can remember for weeks. I did a loop of the local park, mostly on trails. The GPS watch was on, but purely to record the miles for Strava. I didn’t look at the pace once. I simply observed my surroundings, and enjoyed the gift of being able to move at ease through this environment.
This, to me, is as much the essence of running as any big city marathon. It was simply stunning. On these runs I think about my breathing, how my feet are striking the floor and how my posture is aligned. I try as hard as possible to feel everything, to check in with my body and see how different parts are functioning.
This run took around 34 minutes, roughly 2% of the day. Seems like nothing doesn’t it? That 2% has totally reinvigorated me for tomorrow morning’s 16 miler.
Now just to figure out what the hell I wasted the other 98% on!