I tried to pretend like I wasn’t a runner again this weekend. I skipped my long run on Saturday hoping that Los Angeles would get attacked by a swarm of locusts and I would be off the hook. I needed to run a “fast” 20 miler, and I DIDN’T WANT TO.
But, by Sunday, when it was clear that LA wasn’t under a blanket of flying insects, I knew I had to get my lazy butt out there and get it over with.
As much as I dread these fast-ish loop runs, I try to do several of them before a race because:
a) it gives me an idea of where my “cruising” pace is; and
b) it forces me to give a full effort on a long run rather than just counting “time on my feet” (which is what I do when I run trails because it is impossible for me to account for the number of times I get lost/fall down/get distracted by the cool blue bird in the tree/spend time hiding because I’m convinced a mountain lion is stalking me).
If I’m really being honest, I love/hate the “fast 20” run. I love that it is a focused effort that I know will be done fairly quickly. I do it on loops, so I know what to expect (generally). There is minimal risk that I will fall down, get run over, or get eaten. I get to listen to a good book for the first half. I also get to drink a lot of soda (Sunkist and Coke). Really, as far as a running nerd is concerned, (almost) all the boxes I look for in evaluating a good run get checked (I say “almost” because I haven’t figured out a way to run while simultaneously doing all the dance sequences from “Annie”). I hate these 20s though, because, well, I have to run them.
For this 20, I decided to run in my Hokas to see how they would hold up. I have to say, aside from the fact that they are baby blue and pink, and resemble VERY ugly orthopedic shoes (even I don’t want to look that goofy), they were awesome. My feet didn’t start bothering me until the last 2 miles, which I think had more to do with the fact that I was wearing old socks rather than the Hokas. During the run, my legs felt good and I really didn’t feel like I was running in clown shoes. Win/Win.
I ended up with a 3 minute PR which makes me very happy (it’s the little things in life, right?). I so rarely wear a watch that I generally have no true idea of where I stand with my running unless I race, so it felt affirming to know my training is going well.
And I spent much of the morning expressing my happiness. After the third “I got a 3 minute PR on my 20 miler!” Happy Dance, Hubz said, “If this is all it takes to make you happy, let’s stop paying for races and you just keep going out and timing yourself.”
Okay, and I will just cancel his cable football package and he can just go watch the neighborhood football games.
All’s fair in love and running.