I had originally planned on today being a rest day, what with yesterday being a 15 mile run, but then I decided to take Nat to meed up with his good friend Oscar a the Zoo in Prospect Park. If you’ve read a few of my posts, you know how my logic works — the fastest way to get there is to run. So instead of a rest day, it became a recovery run day.
After last week’s run with the heart-rate monitor, I realized that to actually run at an effort that is considered “recovery” level I had to run a lot slower than I assumed — no faster than a 10:30 mile, possibly slower. It’s sort of odd to think of running slow as a challenge, but it is. First, there’s just the habitualization of pace to overcome. Since I do most of my runs between an 8:30 and 9:30 minute per mile when I’m pushing Nat, I just fall into that tempo naturally. Then there’s the psychological aspect of it: for me, running a 10:45 mile just feels soooo slow. One of the things running has really helped me do is let go of ego, but this is one of the times where it’s still a struggle. I’m a runner, so I should be running, right, not shuffling along?
That’s when having leg muscles that are hammered and exhausted is, in fact, a blessing in disguise, because they in no way wanted to go any faster than a 10:30 mile. Forget ego, I couldn’t have done an 8:30 mile if I had tried, so I was perfectly happy to settle into a gentle lope up towards Eastern Parkway then down the hill to the edge of Prospect Park. After a few hours of petting cows and feeding sheep (the petting zoo is the highlight for Nat), we headed back home, again moving along slowly but focusing on quick foot-turnover and short strides.
Tomorrow will definitely be a day off, but I’m on track to have my first 30+ running week since early January.