1 Hour of Running or Bust

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

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

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.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

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!

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

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.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

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?

Random Spurts of Running

When we ran on Wednesday night it was a great run – I still can’t stop saying that – but we had an unplanned running buddy part of the way.

My husband and I have only run with each other. We see other runners though it never exceeds a dozen and on Wednesday there were literally less than half that number. We were about halfway through our first interval of 19 minutes and were turning right where the path dead-ends to the sidewalk that follows the seaside. At that intersection and at the very moment we turned there was another guy that had been running along the seaside that merged with us. The three of us took a few steps all lined-up and then this guy pulled away. I’ve told you all before that we aren’t so fast and this guy in his 40s was faster.

Of course, as he is running directly in front of us, I’m only looking at him, studying him. This man was wearing normal shoes, not running shoes, and cotton shorts and a regular t-shirt. He was bouncing as he ran, if that makes sense, like running was the easiest thing he could be doing. I watched him for almost a minute and then he pulled his phone out of his pocket and started walking and talking on it.

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photo courtesy of pixabay

For me, this is just so weird. He obviously wasn’t out to run, but had seemingly decided to just start running out of the blue. Does anyone do this? When my phone rings and I’m running that person is not getting called back until I’m done and have had some water. What was really annoying was that we passed him as he chatted on the phone and kept running, only to have him pass us once again a couple of minutes later. I guess it was a short phone call. So, we kept chugging along only to see him stop a minute or so later and then we passed him and never saw him pass us again. When we turned around 10 minutes later and made our way back we saw him walking with two women. This guy was quite the multi-tasker. Is it just me who thinks random spurts of running is strange?

group-609640_1280
photo courtesy of pixabay

When we run people who see us seem to just start randomly running.  On Wednesday night a guy pushing a small child in a stroller saw us and started hauling ass like his life depended on it for a solid 30 seconds before collapsing on a bench, and then there was a mother, father, teenage daughter trio who were sprinting in jeans coming towards us after they caught sight of us. But, again, only for about half a minute.

It’s very strange having people start running when they see you. Do we smell that bad that people need to run ahead of us? Is being downwind of us so bad?… I am beginning to wonder if it is “mob mentality” kicking-in. Do they think, “Maybe we should run right now, too, since that couple is?” By far the type of person we see running who is obviously doing it because we are is children. I can not count how many times kids from the ages of barely walking to young teenager have started running in front of us because they have seen us.

kid-358526_1280
photo courtesy of pixabay

Recently, a 3-year-old girl, if she was even 3, saw us, squealed, and made off running. It was funny and made us chuckle, but then she was running faster than us. Show off! 🙂  Normally it’s the 8 to 10-year-olds. I think they want to see if they can beat us running. Spoiler – they can run faster for the full 15 seconds they run.

On Wednesday there were also 2 twenty-something guys running together who ran passed us as we were setting up our mp3 players and watches pre-run. Five or six minutes after we began running they came into view in front of us and they were standing and talking. When we saw them before our run they had been running at about our pace. As we got closer to them, one of them saw us and nudged his buddy and they immediately ran off, much faster than before. We were behind them and I kept seeing them look back at us. They cut through a shortcut a couple of minutes later and were gone from sight thanks to some trees. After we had permanently lost the guy in his 40s the 2 twenty-something runners appeared parallel to us walking on the grass.

I sort of feel like everyone is competing and they lack the camaraderie that running should cultivate. Sometimes I want to speed up and pass these temporary runners, but then I know that I will pay for it at the end of my run. I fight that urge and just keep up my normal pace. I try to console myself with the fact that despite seeing other runners when we run, none of them runs as long or as far as we do. I think all the runners we see, except for 1, runs 20 to 30 minutes at most. Suddenly, running 57 minutes doesn’t seem so shabby.

Do you get competitive with other runners? Do you ever have people see you and randomly start running?

“That was a really great run, right?” She said over and over…

Last night after our run I couldn’t stop repeating, “That was a really good run, right?” to my husband. I guess I was just so surprised at how well I ran, especially since before our run my hip started feeling irritated and it was hot outside.

I had come home from work and just laid down for an hour. My husband was at his computer. We just decompressed for a while from the day and waited for the sun to set and the hopefully cooler temperatures to kick-in. However, and this is the danger about coming home and not immediately going for a run, you start feeling like it would be nice to just stay home. On top of that feeling, my husband could not stop eating. He was having a hungry day when nothing seems to make you full – there were chocolate covered nuts, dates, pistachios, among other things that met their fate. As soon as it was sunset we convinced each other to lace up and go out for our run.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

I always start doubting myself if I haven’t been for a run in a while. The last time I ran was Friday I think so it had been a while. So, I was definitely not confident about the run. I thought maybe I’d have to stop early and then I started running through the most likely to the worst-case scenarios in my head. I am pretty good at doubting myself. Is there a medal for that? But, in fact running wasn’t that bad at all.

There was no wind and I could feel the humidity by the time we walked over to the park. I was annoyed, immediately, because it makes a run that much harder. We sat on a bench and arranged our watches and mp3 players and then as soon as we stood up the wind started to blow and wouldn’t you know that it didn’t stop the entire time we ran.

Sometimes the stars align and everything is in place and we have a great run. The first 19-minute interval flew by. I didn’t check the time until the 16th minute and that was just to see if we had run into the 3-minute walking interval. It was a great start to the run. Without the humidity our breathing was even and controlled and we didn’t look like we had just had a shower.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

The second interval was good, too. I wasn’t getting too tired and we were maintaining our pace. The sidewalks got a little crowded and at one point all our vision was obscured by the smokey-haze of barbecuing park-goers, which isn’t really fun to breathe through. But, I was happy to be running and looking at park cats and kittens as we ran past them. I didn’t even mind weaving around kids, cyclists, and families taking up the whole sidewalk.

We didn’t need to make the second walking break longer either. Three minutes was plenty. It’s been a while since we only walked for 3 minutes. So, we started again on the third and final interval and still it was good. I didn’t feel like I was in “the zone” or anything, but it was solid running. It probably would have been even better if my music playlist hadn’t finished 3 minutes before the end of the run. This meant I was fiddling with it and slowed down a little, because I was distracted. Because the screen is broken on my ipod and I can’t see what is going on in terms of menus, preferences, etc. I ended up running to classical music for the final few minutes. I guess I was going through a phase (short-lived) of trying to be fancy or something years ago when I put it on there originally. But, I was running well and even the weird choice of classical music couldn’t derail me from finishing it. I’m one of those people who needs upbeat tunes to run normally.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

And, for the couple hours we were still conscious last night post-run I just kept saying to my husband “That was a really good run, right?” I’m pretty sure he got annoyed saying, “Yes, it was a good run.”

The run was so good that my hubby said he could have done another 19-minute interval. Me – I’m not so ambitious. But, it felt like I could have run 3 intervals of 20 minutes quite easily last night. My husband definitely agreed. In fact, he said that if the weather was good next time he may push me to run with only one break. So in his mind we would do something like 2 intervals of 30 minutes with a 2 or 3-minute walking break. That doesn’t excite me so much, but this is why running with someone who is ambitious is such a good thing, even if it is a pain in the ass in the moment, they take you along with them.

After the run, my hip was a little stiff, but it didn’t bother me during the run. I iced it after and this morning it’s still stiff so I will do some stretches.

How often do you feel like you had a great run? 

Running Envy

So far this week I haven’t been able to run. My right hip has been painful so I have taken a few days off. And, at the suggestion of Allison over at invertedsneakers.wordpress.com I have started doing some yin yoga routines that she suggested on her blog. Hopefully, it will help my hip heal and I think it will, because if you don’t already check out Allison’s blog regularly you really should.  She is a running/yoga/all-round workout machine – and I say that with respect and awe. If I had half the energy and motivation she did I think I would be able to rule the world and come home and run my 8.5 km every night. 🙂  It’s for this reason that I am so glad I started blogging when my husband and I decided to get serious about losing weight by eating better and starting to run. I have engaged with so many inspiring runners and bloggers, and it is so nice to have a community of people who know what you are going through and offer advice.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

While I couldn’t run, my husband did lace up and go out for a run. When he has to run alone because I can’t it doesn’t always end well. Without me he has trouble pacing himself. He starts out too fast and poops out too early and can’t finish the run. He has a naturally faster pace than me. I’ve gradually gotten a little faster over time, but I still can’t go as fast as him.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

So, he went out on Monday night for a run. As he tells me, he continued our 3 intervals of running for 19 minutes. By the time he was 3 minutes from the end of the last interval he had already passed where we ended the run before and gone on another 200 meters. That’s when he stopped. So, he didn’t quite finish the interval, but he went farther than we had before. It was also hot that night and humid, which doesn’t make any run easy. So, I’m really proud of him for going out and running and then running farther and keeping a reasonable pace through the run.

I won’t lie. I’m jealous that he went running, while I was stuck at home on the sofa. Running envy is a new phenomenon for me, but I definitely got a taste of it.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

The good news is that my hip is feeling better today and the plan is to go run tonight. Maybe I’m a little cautious about running with discomfort/pain, but I feel that since I am still on the heavy-side for a runner I should be more careful so that I don’t seriously injure myself and can’t run for longer than a few days.

How serious does an injury have to be for you to stop running?

Pizza + Burgers + Beer ≠ Happy Scale Numbers

From the title you may have an idea of where this is going…

We weigh ourselves every Monday morning. It’s our little weekly ritual my husband and I do. Sometimes we are greeted with the satisfying news of having lost weight and sometimes the not-so-great news that we stayed the same or, horror of horrors, gained weight.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

I’ve learned through these past few months that running is as much a mental exercise as a physical one. I’ve also realized that losing weight is quite similar.  It is a mental game of endurance, similar to running. Where your head is at is so critical to performance in both. I think I was under the misconception that running was mostly physical – how strong your legs were and how much your body could take. Likewise, I thought that losing weight was only about what you ate. But, this is really not the case.

So, today is Monday and we weighed ourselves. All I can say is that I’m a bit disappointed. I actually gained some weight and my initial reaction was “How is that possible?” I sat annoyed for a good hour. I couldn’t understand the mechanics. I eat well, I walk, I run… My friends last night even said I looked like I’ve lost more weight since I saw them 2 weeks ago. So why can’t the scale just affirm all this? Why does my scale have to be a jerk?

I was convinced that somehow everything was working against me, especially that stupid scale. Then, my husband, who lost almost a kilo this week, reminded me I had pizza 2 times this week and burgers (homemade, but still they are burgers) and a beer last night when we ate at our friends’ place. All I could think was “Oh, crap.” I am actually the one responsible for the lack of weight loss. I forgot about that sometimes unpredictable factor in the weight loss journey – my head and most importantly what I like to eat. It should be obvious that having pizza, burgers, and beer will not help me lose weight.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

So, it’s the start of a new week and I’m going to be better this week; more mindful of what I put in my body and I will aim to make the smarter choice. In terms of running, I hope the weather man is right and that the temperatures will be cooler this week, which will allow us to run without feeling like death is just around the corner. Hopefully, if I can run every other day like we used to and eat better I will see a better set of numbers on the scale next week.

Jumping to 19 Minutes

The month of August and running have been like oil and water – they just don’t mix. We have barely run. Normally we run every other day. With the hotter, more humid days in August we switched it up and started giving ourselves a 2-day break between runs. Then, things got real and the weather was insufferable and running took a backseat to sitting in the air conditioning. What did people do before that was invented?… We just haven’t been running much.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

We ran on Tuesday even though it was still hot, because the new running shirts we ordered were still sitting there all shiny and new, begging to be worn. I suppose it should be no big surprise that the run went reasonably well. We were rested and yes the shirts were comfy. As we’ve been running once or twice max per week the last couple weeks, I didn’t expect our next run to be so soon, however. Yesterday, the temperature was a little cooler, the humidity a little less intense. So, we ran.

It’s really been a while since we’ve run with only a day apart. As we walked to the park, the wind really picked up. Strong gusts blew trees and I was just smiling away. I immediately had high hopes for this run.

We started off a little quick, but I got us back to a reasonable pace after a couple of minutes. My hubby is like a bull coming out of the gate if I let him set the pace, especially at the beginning.The wind was blowing and I was in heaven. Seven or eight minutes into the run, I suppose after my Hubs started getting into the groove, he turned to me and said, “Let’s do 19.” This means let’s increase our 3 running intervals to 19 minutes, up from the 18 minutes we’ve been doing.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

Normally, we talk about adjusting the intervals prior to a run. After all, it’s a big decision. And I don’t mean that sarcastically. While it means just 3 extra minutes of running, it sort of changes the run fundamentally. My brain and my legs get used to an interval and can’t be fooled when we run longer. I was a little surprised by my hubby’s eagerness, and a little taken aback by the mere suggestion. I’m the kind of woman who likes to mentally prepare for things. My husband doesn’t really understand what that means, but mental preparation is one of the things that keeps me sane and gets me ready for a challenge – like running 3 extra minutes with no notice. But, this is the good (and bad) part of having a running buddy; they push you, motivate you, and challenge you. I love it (in hindsight) and hate it (in the moment).

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

We were 2 of just a handful of runners out last night and I think the strong wind even scared off some of the walkers and people with children. It is always nice not to have to weave left and right around out of control children. Although there was one kid, and I don’t mean to offend people with kids, who couldn’t have been more than 5 years old who chased us on his little bike continuously ringing his bell for a solid couple of minutes. Neither of us realized it was a child because he was behind us and we are listening to our running music and then we hear the ringing, ringing, ringing – incessantly. We are used to pulling right so a biker can pass so we kept going right and no bike was coming. We got really annoyed. To the point that we turned around yelled at the kid, whose parents were way behind us leisurely walking. Minus this one hiccup, we got to run in much less crowded sidewalk conditions – underrated but important.

The first 2 intervals were good even though the wind died by the end of the second. 19 minutes wasn’t so different from 18 minutes. The third interval is always a challenge on the first day of a new interval. I find myself checking the time more, which I’d like to stop doing eventually. This was definitely true last night. What is surprising is that, when I check the time and there are 7 minutes left I don’t automatically think, “I can’t do this” or “Oh my God, I’m going to die.” Instead, I find myself thinking “Just 7 minutes? I can do that.” For some reason I turn into a Positive Polly in lieu of a Debbie Downer, which is a much more familiar role for me. I run through all the reasons why we start running.

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photo courtesy of pixabay

The other thing that keeps me going when I am feeling depleted is that I try to do math. I’m not great at math. I haven’t done it since high school calculus. I have been setting the stopwatch on my phone and when it hit 19 minutes last night we walked. Then at 22 minutes we started walking again. Now, here is where, for me, the math gets tricky. In my head I will calculate and re-calculate the minute when I can stop. It’s not that hard, but me and math while running – forget it! I think I did math for a solid 5 minutes. And then re-doing it to be sure that I stop at 41 minutes. Then after walking 4 minutes, I did it all over again to be sure we stopped at 1 hour and 4 minutes. It is probably the greatest distraction I’ve found. So, if you need to keep your mind busy while running, my recommendation is math. Still, I’d like the time to become less of an issue in the future.

When, during your run, do you start checking the time?

Creaky Hips Running

An old creaky door sounds like I feel. After every run, especially as we get closer to that final goal of running a full hour, the aches and pains set in. Yesterday I literally felt like I was hobbling around. My right hip is tired. I don’t know if it’s possible for a hip to feel or get tired, but that’s the best way I can describe it. I’m icing it when I can, but I’m not sure if it helps.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

And yet, even despite the heat, I’m walking like a gazelle through an open plain. I walk so fast now. I know I’ve probably said it before, but walking got easier as we have lost some pounds and extended our running time. I wasn’t struggling to walk before we took up running, but the ease with which I walk now due to my now impressively strong legs makes me wonder how much work walking really was before.

I’m not the only one who is hobbling around. My hubby, yesterday, said his legs just felt tired. I think the Summer temperatures and still being heavy runners is taking its toll on us. I wish some pounds would just melt away already, because I am curious if running will get easier and if being lighter will make a big difference in everyday life.

The good news is that the heat wave seems to be dissipating and there is even a chance of rain tomorrow. I would literally kill to have the chance to run in the rain at this point. I have only run in light sprinkles, when we first began running in March or April, but I’m starting to have small daytime fantasies of running in the rain.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

Do you like running in the rain?

Running Wet

Yesterday was an unusual day for us. We finished work early, despite being kind of busy, and went to the cinema. By the way, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation gets 2 thumbs down. It would have been easy to just go home and vegetate; it would have been really easy to step outside, take one breath, and say “It’s way too humid to run. Screw it!”

What really helped me get my butt in gear was the fact that there were 2 brand-new running shirts at home that hadn’t been used yet. I wanted to see if these shirts are everything they are cracked up to be. The other thing that helped me get changed and step out of the door was my hubby, who barely let me sit down when we got home and scooted me over to the pile of clothes on the floor next to the drying rack that always has dry clothes hanging from it (I am really bad at putting laundry away) that is lovingly referred to as my closet. He knows that as soon as my ass hits the sofa cushion it is extremely difficult to extricate it to do anything productive. My sofa is so awesome it has its own review, by the way.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

We got dressed and checked each other out. We both got a Nike Miler. My husband’s (you can click for the Nike USA store here) is black and grey striped, which they don’t seem to have in the Nike US store. Mine is similar, but thicker fabric (you can click here to view). The women’s is fitted with cap-sleeves.

We bought shirts because I can usually gauge how far we are into the run by the sweat patterns that form on my hubby’s t-shirt. In the first third of the last interval his regular cotton t-shirt is soaked through. Literally there isn’t a square-inch that isn’t wet. It’s kind of impressive and gross all at the same time. Of course I sweat, but nowhere near the amount he does. I’m surprised he isn’t drinking water like his life depends on it after each and every run.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

So, we were excited and curious about our first run with the new shirts. It was hard to tell mid-run if they kept us cool. We have gotten so used to being hot in Summer temperatures. At the end of the run, my hubby’s shirt was still 100% soaked through. But, the moisture wasn’t sticking to his skin like a cotton shirt. He said it was more comfortable. For me, I noticed that it was like running with silk, meaning that I didn’t feel any hard stitching rubbing on my arms so it was more comfortable in that sense.

In general, I’m glad we bought the shirts. They are not miracle workers by any means, but at least my hubby was a bit more comfortable. So, no buyer’s remorse here. We’ll keep using them and hopefully continue to be satisfied.

The Running Dialogue

Me: “You wanna run tonight?” looking at my husband, half-wincing that he might say “yes.”

Hubby: “It’s kinda hot, don’t you think?”

Me: “Yup. It’s hot. The air is thick and it feels as if outside is just a giant sauna.”

Hubby: “Wanna go for a picnic instead?”

Me: “Sure.”

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

This is basically the conversation we’ve been having every night when it’s running decision time. We are not committed to the run these days. I’m only committed to the air conditioning.

I was actually all set to run on Sunday. It was hot, but not kill-me-now hot, humid but not suffocatingly so. But, I got my very first taste of vertigo on Sunday. I’ve never really had it before, but it was like walking on a moving sidewalk that you might see at an airport, except when I look down there is just cement. Standing on the metro I felt a little sickly as the metal tube I was in traversed the underground tunnels of the city at high speed.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

At the end of the day I just didn’t feel good, and I really wasn’t willing to run with intermittent vertigo. It seems like not such a good plan. What if I fell? So, just when I thought our unrunning streak was over I got sucked back in. I think I was probably a bit dehydrated and tired, because the next day I felt much better. That sensation of moving without moving hasn’t come back, so I’m quite happy and hopefully tonight we can get a run in.

The other good news is that our new running shirts arrived and we can finally start understanding what everyone is talking about. We’ll see if our suspicions were unfounded or not that this whole running shirt technology is a bit of a sham. I really hope they help in this humidity.

Running Too Fast

I’m pretty sure not running last week started to make me a little nutty. I got anxious, impatient, and short-tempered as the week wore on and as the number of days I had not run grew higher. It is a little unbelievable that in 4 months I could already be addicted to running; addicted to chocolate? believable; gin and tonics? probably one day; running? I would have said “not on your life” before, but look at me now, missing it when I don’t do it.

We finally ran on Friday evening after several days of no running. The heat wave we’re having and the 80% humidity at 9pm scared us off the other days. I guess we aren’t that tough. It’s no better in the mornings. Sure the temperature is a couple of degrees cooler, but humidity is 100% at 6am these days. Honestly, I’d rather sleep.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

The run on Friday wasn’t great, but it wasn’t our worst either. The first 18-minute interval went by without much distress. I felt pretty good, actually; only checking the time near the end so that I didn’t run over into the walking break. We were actually running at a pretty quick pace. Normally I set the speed of our runs, but my husband was hauling ass and so it was catch-up or wave “see you later.”

The second interval got tougher.  I think this is due in part to the intensity of the weather that made me feel like I was a mobile heater and the fact that we might have started running too fast as a result of my Hubs setting the pace, which I do normally.

We found a little breeze to enjoy while running and soaked it up for all it was worth. Instead of a 3-minute break before the last interval, however, we took a 5-minute one. I don’t like doing this, but I’m willing to cut myself a break since the weather just plain sucks. The third interval started fine, but I quickly grew tired, and I was moving a little slow. About 5 or 6 minutes into the interval, though, my husband informed me that he had had enough, he couldn’t control his breathing and he was pooped.

I was a little surprised since I thought I saw him literally dancing/running during the first 2 intervals. He was doing his best John Travolta circa Saturday Night Fever impression. I told him I’d go on and try to complete the final interval and I’d meet him over at the park cafe where we’ve been buying water post-run. I don’t quit lightly so I am really happy I dragged myself through the final interval even though I felt like I was really slow and spent, but I just put my head down and kept going.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

When I collapsed onto the nearest bench after the time finished, my hubby told me that he was in love with the music he was listening to while running, but the beat was a little fast and caused him to run a little faster than normal, which explains that quick pace in the first interval. He couldn’t hold himself back from dancing and the faster beat pushed him to run quickly. And me, right along with him.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

A valuable lesson was learned from this run: I should set the pace. I’m not a control freak by any means. In fact my husband and I occasionally frustrate each other by demurring to the other’s opinion or preference. We’re way too democratic/equal opportunity/consensus-oriented sometimes, but I think I should insist on it. Neither of us do particularly well when we start too fast, and it makes the end of the run a bigger challenge than normal.

We don’t have a fancy Garmin or anything yet. I just have an app on my phone that tracks speed and distance. And it is a little too complicated trying to swipe through the menu to get to the pace while running so how we’ve done on a run is always a little bit of a surprise when we look at the end. I basically understand how we’re doing according to how much time is left and where we are in the park.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

So, is it worth buying a Garmin or something similar? I don’t know. What do you use to keep track while running?