Last Sunday I planned to run a seven mile loop along the river path. It was windy as heck from the northwest, so it made sense to tuck down in the valley and avoid the worst of the bluster.
My wife Sue had a 1:50 run on the schedule, but I’ve only been doing 6-8 milers the last few weeks. I generally believe in building up a mile or two over a period of weeks.
A quarter mile into the run my legs felt decent enough that my planned seven-miler started to change. We ran together through three miles after a potty break and she turned to me at the typical turnaround point and said, “Okay honey, see you back…”
But I turned to her and said, “Nope, I’m going further today.”
At four miles I decided to pick up the pace, gave her an air kiss, and took off ahead. The turnaround point is at 4.5 miles but I forgot to start my watch after the potty break and cut out some mileage, so it read only 4.3. But I knew better.
Running back south with the wind at my back felt really great. I glanced down at the watch and it read 7:35 pace. Why not? Let it roll.
At eight miles my hips did start to tighten a bit because I haven’t built up those proprioception muscles with longer runs as yet. The way I looked at it last Sunday, it made sense to uncork a little longer run. “Ya gotta start sometime…”
Give yourself a break though, sometimes. I stopped for thirty seconds at nine miles to pet a really cute dog named Violet. That let my hips relax a little and the rest of the run went smoothly. I averaged 9:00 per mile with several under that pace in the last four miles. A good tuneup for things to come and races to run.
Let’s go for it. Sometimes it pays not to follow your own instincts.