In praise of short runs.
Before yesterday, my last run that took under an hour happened December 29th, and my last run under 4 miles (that wasn’t a race) was November 30th.
This isn’t really surprising, since I have been training for longer races for almost a year now, and I am slow, so even short runs take quite awhile. Lots of people can get in a medium-length run in under an hour, but I can’t.
It’s also hard to see the point of hauling on all my gear just to get out and do 2 or 3 miles. It seems like a lot of effort for very little benefit. What’s a 2.5 mile run (that isn’t a speed workout) going to do for my 50k training?
This winter, I have been using Tuesday as my off day, because I have a night course prepping for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. I don’t have enough time to run between work and class. But yesterday, I was determined to get out. The weather is going to start turning colder (though not terribly cold, relatively speaking), and I did not want to miss out on the last mild day for awhile. So I left work slightly early, suited up as quickly as I could (only a little bit of lollygagging, since I got a package from my mom in the mail), and put in 3.3 miles on the road.
It was awesome. I was giddy at the prospect that not only had my run barely started, it was almost over. (Of course this also meant that the proportion of time the run sucked was very high — the first 2 miles are always the worst.) I didn’t wear gloves, because I didn’t have to worry about cold hands – I’d be done soon! It didn’t matter if my feet got wet – they wouldn’t have time to get cold either! It was still light out when I finished, AND I had time to get coffee and a muffin before class. I was also still high on endorphins during class, and further elated that I finally remembered something about a subject (statics). Usually I sit there with a blank stare, trying to remember the class I took 3 years ago on the subject du jour. “So you guys remember this, right? It’s a simple redox reaction. The half reaction isszzzzzz…”
My choices lately when I don’t have a lot of time to run are either 1. don’t run or 2. run longer and be late to wherever I have to be. That is really stupid. If I can fit in an extra rest day and still get the mileage I want, I should probably go with the rest day, but there’s always been this option right in front of me, that I’ve been avoiding: run a short run. They’re nice.