Headed out this morning in weather totally appropriate for Good Friday. I’m sure it was penance for something… It was dark. 40 degrees. 20 mph winds. And alternating waves of pouring rain and mere drizzle. After five months of training without a single downpour (my many snowfall runs don’t count), I’ve now had two in a row.
Two wet hours and 57 soaked minutes later, I was still undecided about whether or not to switch to the full marathon in Rockford that’s coming up in three weeks. If I were to run the marathon in three weeks, I knew I needed to get in a long run sooner than later to keep my endurance up.
While my plan for today was to intentionally hold back and try to run steady 9-minute miles (which worked perfectly as I finished with a 8:50 min/mile pace), there was a part of me that was actually hoping things wouldn’t go so well just 12 days after my first marathon…so I wouldn’t have to make up my mind.
I knew I was pushing it to be running so long so soon, but I hadn’t done any research yet on how long I should wait. I hadn’t done a full carb load the day before, I haven’t been stretching much, and I was kind of hoping I’d fizzle. Cut it short. Head home early. And then I’d know for sure it was too soon for another marathon. But it turned out to be a decent run and left me more conflicted.
I was able to revisit quite a few streets and neighborhoods I hadn’t been through since before my taper started five weeks ago. Felt like I was running new places. Even took a chance and went in search of a water fountain in the police station. I was rewarded and now have another water source to include in future routes. Becky keeps telling me to run something else than my set of comfortable loops. And I think she might be right. Time to mix it up a bit.
Spring keeps trying to squeeze its way into the never-ending streak of sub-40-degree days we’ve been having. And a lot of the neighborhoods looked different without snow.
I also keep thinking that at some point I should start taking my BlackBerry with me when I’m running so I can snap some pics of all the beautiful places. Everything along the Fox River Trail has turned a lush green and all of the flowers are just about ready to finally bloom. And to me, the bridge across the Fox River looked gorgeous in the rain today.
Truth is, I’ve enjoyed seeing many of the places other runner bloggers go. But there’s also a part of me that feels like stopping to take pictures might somehow affect my training and mindset a bit. Even on my recovery runs, I generally have an attack mindset. Would stopping to smell (and take pictures) of the roses take me out of my training element and somehow make it more like running just to run…
What do you think? Have you ever taken a camera with you on a run, or do you prefer to focus on the run and your training?