Monday, February 22, 2010

Running About, Not Training

Finally, another strong week of running in the books. However, I don't really know how many miles I actually ran. And I don't really care. I have eschewed the notion of "training," and have instead decided to focus on the simple joy of running.

My first run last week was on Wednesday while I was in Houston, where I had no knowledge of local running areas. I just set my watch timer and started running, returning to my hotel after 54:33. On a good day, that would be six miles, but it's been months since I've had such a good day.

Thursday, I took the same unplanned approach, but for a run of 32:48, which is easily a three-miler. But still, I didn't verify the distance.

These runs were a welcome relief from the previous three weeks when I was attempting to train for my first race of the season, yet the combined mileage of those weeks don't even add up to 20.

I was also probably a little high from the sudden jolt of Vitamin D, as I didn't see a single cloud in Houston--not to mention the temperature being a good 30 degrees warmer than it has been in Akron.

I returned home from my work trip feeling pretty happy about my running. I wanted to keep it up. Instead of returning to my usual routine of carefully mapped routes or marked running paths, I decided to continue the unplanned "runabouts."

On Saturday, I set out from my front door and just ran, venturing into neighborhoods I have never seen, as I ran for a little more than an hour. While in Berea, Ohio, on Sunday morning, I did the same, exploring little-known territory for an hour and a half.

I have resisted the urge to go to and see how far I went, and instead I've just enjoyed the spontaneity of my runs. The weather in Northeast Ohio has even cooperated, getting above freezing for the first time in weeks.

My racing plans are up in the air. The Shamrock 15-K is two weeks away, but I have just learned that I will be in Canada the day before for a big dancing-drinking-shindig. The race starts at noon, so it's possible to get back in time to toe the line, but is it probable? As a replacement, I could go international and run a 5-K in Windsor, Ontario, which would be cool but not very challenging.

And, oh hey, this is my 500th post.


Morgan said...

Happy 500th!

I love the idea of Runabouts! Seriously, after Gasparilla I intend to take an R&R vaca from structured running and just go have fun. Thanks for the inspiration and so glad you got to enjoy some outdoor runs!

The Sean said...

Seems the 5k is the right move. Should be FUN:)

Ian said...

"...focus on the simple joy of running."

You crack me up.

Jess said...

Glad you were able to get some nice runs in while you were away. It's great to break the training habit every once in a while and run just for fun.

Barefoot Johnny O said...

Congratulations on 500!!
So, I was hoping to toe the line with you at the Sham, and then wave as you sped away - I guess I'll have to let you know how it went. I'm planning on finishing first - in the barefoot division ;-0
Runabout! I'm with you.

misszippy said...

Congrats on your milestone post. That's a lot of writing! Very cool that you are trying that approach to running. I get too caught up in logging my miles and could use some of that myself.

BrianFlash said...

You could try your next plan totally in time, not paying attention to miles.

Sometimes that takes a little pressure off.

Carolina John said...

congrats on 500 posts! the rest you could do without.

Roisin said...

Congrats on the 500th post! I've enjoyed many of them :)

Glad you were able to get some really good runs in there, just for the sake of running! I might try that once I can start running again, too.

Nitmos said...

Sorry about 500. The excuses for those life goals just keep piling up....

Al's CL Reviews said...


Congrats on the 500.

X-Country2 said...

500 posts?! Damn!