Monday, May 6, 2013

The flesh is weak(er) this time

I've mentioned before, here or at Get Running or both, how I get anxious about taking a break from running: Will the sweetness of laziness lure me away from the delayed rewards of running?

And if you haven't already read between the lines of most of my posts, I (like many runners) have more physical strength than mental strength.

Those trends came together last Tuesday night.

If it was mildly unfair of Mother Nature to throw a warm, sunny day at me on race day, it was equally, if not more, inconsiderate to have the two nicest days of the year immediately follow a half marathon.

I wanted to be outside playing, like the rest of Des Moines; last Monday, in a concession to the beautiful weather and the importance of recovery, I took a somewhat stiff but pleasant stroll around my neighborhood.

On Tuesday, I plowed through a Dutch letter at work and Orange Leaf after work. Emboldened by the still-warm air (it was 9 p.m.!) and jazzed up by all that sugar, I threw on the running gear.

Two and a half days after running 13.1 miles, I decided to set several limits: I'd go slow. I'd walk whenever. I'd go no farther than three miles.

Well, as it turns out, my quads let me go about three breathing cycles. Running just wasn't going to happen.

But still, I was beyond thrilled that, for once, "rest" didn't mean "alternately worry that you'll forget liking to run and hope that you will forget." And though it was only for about a minute, during my tight-quadded-stalk from the apartment up to the sidewalk, I was ready to stop whining about how harrrrrrdddddd running is and just do it.

These aren't issues I generally have while biking, so I might not have much of a chance to work through them until August — if I'm going to do the IMT Des Moines Half Marathon, training starts pretty quickly after RAGBRAI ... meaning there will be hot-weather running.

What better time to test and/or prove my mettle than the dog days?


  1. There's nothing like hot, steamy runs to 1) make you question your fitness and 2) show you what you're really made of. Living in NYC, all my fall marathon training begins in the worst of the summer heat. By the time fall racing season comes around, the cool weather feels blissful and my times start dropping. Hot weather training is worth it!

  2. I think I too will have better luck with a temperature change in the other direction!