This is the conversation my husband and I had as we walked from our house to the park for a run on Friday evening:
Hubby: “The weather seems not too bad.”
Me: “Yeah, it’s been worse,” completely oblivious as to where this conversation is going.
Hubby: “If it’s breezy when we get there, we’re going to do 3 intervals of 20 minutes. So mentally prepare yourself now.”
Me: Blank, fearful stare
I don’t think my husband quite understands it when I say “I need to mentally prepare myself.” If it is necessary to mentally prepare myself then something is definitely happening or very likely to occur. The weather is not one of those things that I depend on so it seemed a little bit of a contradiction to a.) expect a high chance of good weather for running and, consequently, b.) prepare for a new, longer interval of running.
But, I could tell by the half-crazy look in his eye that he was serious – we were going to run 20 minutes 3 times. He didn’t seem to be asking me either. I was hesitant, to say the least, as we walked to the park. I had only run the 19 minute intervals twice because I took some time to let my sore hip rest, but he had run it 3 times. I didn’t protest too much – just the requisite amount when your spouse tells you to do something you don’t want to do, but knows you will do it anyway. Haven’t we all been there? It’s just enough protesting so that they know you are not pleased about doing it and so you can use it for something in the future when you want to do something and they don’t.
It seemed the weather gods were on my side, though, when we got to the park. It was not breezy and the humidity had eeked up to previous early August temperatures when I had bemoaned the fact that it was too hot to run. And then, a small breeze started and it seemed my husband’s wish came true.
The first interval of 20 minutes was really good. It always amazes me how much further we run by just adding an extra minute to running. We ran the entire length of the park this time. We still took a 3-minute walking break and then started up again, but this time instead of running near where people barbeque and the sidewalk is a haze of smoke and the all too delicious smells of people’s dinner cooking we took a turn to run along a very long wave breaker that has just been built with a sidewalk on top. It is quite big and extends quite a distance into the sea. I think it took 5 minutes to run the whole thing. I’m so glad we chose to run there because the wind was glorious and despite having to make our presence known to some fishermen who were casting their lines – one of my irrational fears is losing an eye to a fishhook by a fisherman that doesn’t see I’m behind him – it was awesome!
We finished the second and third intervals without any problems and I didn’t even slow down at the end, which is typical on a new interval run. I was really pleased with myself. But, perhaps, my excellent performance sealed my fate.
My hubby also noticed I was doing well so at the end of the run, as we are drinking some much deserved water and recovering, he says, very casually, “The next time the weather is cool we’re just running as much as we can. No more planned walking breaks.”
Again, he was met with a blank, shocked face from me. Of course the first word out of my mouth was “Why?” like it was punishment.
His opinion is that if it hadn’t been for the heat and humidity of the summer we’d already be running a full hour, non-stop by now. But, instead, we are just now running an hour with breaks. Yes, he’s right. We are a little behind schedule, but there wasn’t much we could do about it.
The total amount of running and walking we do is 66 minutes and he’s getting bored. He wants to get rid of those 6 minutes of walking sooner rather than later. So, it seems that running 3, 20-minute intervals will not last long if the weather stays around 28 degrees C or 82 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity that is bearable.
In spite of the double dose of shock on Friday, we finally hit our goal of running an hour and that in and of itself is something that a few months ago seemed so distant and, at times, unattainable. So, now it’s all about whittling down the breaks and walking time.
What was your first running goal?