Monday, July 25, 2011

Tortoise VS Hare

Good Evening!  During this stifling heatwave, I have decided to renew my running routine.  I went for two runs; one on Saturday and another on Sunday.  On Saturday, I started my run at 8:30 am, which was not a great idea.  The wall of humidity was already thick and sticky and it felt like water jogging, except less enjoyable.  I ended up running three miles.  I have my ipod to thank for that because to run in such oppressive conditions requires mental distraction. 

I was proud of myself for running in uncharted territory (for me anyway).  I'm very much a creature of habit and familiarity.  When I lived with my parents, I would only run on routes that my dad had run with me.  I knew the approximate mileage of the route and the route was familiar (no chance of getting lost) and that was very comforting.  On Saturday, I was vaguely familiar with the neighborhood that I was running through but not enough to know every side street.  I got a little lost but still made it back to my home.  Small victory for Andrea :)

Sunday's run was more scenic.  My dad came and picked me up at 7:00am and we drove to Prince William Forest Park.  Let me tell you, just starting an hour earlier made all the difference in the temperature!  The route through the park only had a few rolling hills and was a very nice run. We ran four miles at a very leisurely pace (11 min/mile).  The important thing is that we got out there and moved our legs ;)

With these runs, I'm having a difficult time deciding on what I should focus on.  Distance or speed?  I have always considered myself a distance runner over a fast runner.  I have begun to question whether this is because of my anatomy and natural talent or is this due to not pushing myself hard enough (read: lazy)? 

In the past, I have focused on increasing my mileage as a show of my progress as a runner.  The longest run I completed was a half marathon last October 2010.  During the training for that run, I experienced some pain in my right shin.  There was never an official diagnosis.  The orthopedic surgeon told me we could inject me with radioactive fluid to determine if it was a stress fracture but the end result would be to stop running while it healed.  I decided to leave the radioactive fluids out of my body and just rest until I felt better. 

Ever since that injury, I have second guessed my need to complete longer runs.  Maybe it's not good for my body?  I have thought about signing up for a 5k and try for a PR (personal record).  I don't think it would be very difficult to beat my past 5k times. 

So runners, what are you thoughts?  Tortoise or Hare?


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