Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Running and the Male Ego

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

I had the joy of running 37K/23miles on Sunday for the first time in my life...if any non-runners are reading the blog today, this is where they assume I am employing sarcasm. Of course, the runners reading know that I am dead serious :)

Sunday's long run felt like such a huge accomplishment...I was only 5K away from covering the entire marathon distance and I won't lie, a part of me really considered just doing the whole thing. I felt good enough to do it and at the pace I was going at it would likely only be another 25 minutes. Alas, my ego was held in check with logic and reason winning out. I knew that I was already in uncharted territory distance wise, I was also coming off a shorter distance running week and had a significant mileage jump already and things like that can lead to injury (I know from experience). I had been away from my family already for three hours as well and wanted to spend time with them, not just out running loops. Besides, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do something.


Sunday's Long Run...My Longest Ever

It was pretty cool knowing that I could basically see the finish line, here's the Chicago course map to put it in perspective...


2013 Chicago Marathon Course

...and here's how close I came to the finish


Mile 23...Just a Quick Run up Michigan Ave to the Finish Line

I felt fine the whole time, and the weather was perfect for a run...cool and cloudy. I ran loops for the first time and to be honest it was a little boring, but it was effective. I even threw a couple of half full water bottles in the bushes that I could come back to and grab a swig if needed...it worked out well. Like a good runner though, I made sure to pick up all of my bottles on the last loop and "leave only footprints". Maybe next week I'll get the kids to set up a water station for me :)

Once I finished, everything caught up with me...it seems to me that the run is fine, until you stop. Then the ouch begins. I downed a Powerade, grabbed a nice hot shower and donned my Pro Compression socks, then settled in for a little bit (but not too long) of this...


Couch Snuggle with Jackson

The next day I decided I would get out for an EASY 10K. Key word, easy. I started out at a really nice slow pace for which my legs were grateful, but I made the mistake of looking down at my watch and seeing what my pace was. I was running 5:09/km (about 8:20/mile)...honestly, a really nice recovery pace after 37K. But my ego did not agree. My legs felt fine and since I was about 2.5K into my run they were getting stretched out, so I decided to go a bit harder. Logic and Reason tried to have their say, but Ego was having none of it. I kept pushing the pace and ended up running my "recovery" run 6 seconds/km faster than the run I was recovering from! I actually ran at 4:33/km (7:18/mile) from the time Ego showed up...stupid. And for what? The race I wasn't running in? The old guys that were running the other way on the path? The chance to do some real damage to my body?? Ah the Male Ego...


Luckily today is my rest day, so Ego won't have a chance to mess with me. That is, unless he starts whispering in my ear "It's only a 10K, you can fit it in." The joys of being a runner.

Do you struggle to take it easy on your easy runs?

 

 

21 comments:

  1. For years I have felt the need to push hard every run. Just in the past few months I've finally learned that it is OK to run just to run not to try and be faster than the last time out!!
    Great job on the 23!!

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  2. I've always struggled with the "easy thing" but over the years I have been working on it and getting better at it (kind of). Congrats on a great long run!

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  3. Teach me your ways, Kim! I need to get that through my thick skull...

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  4. Thanks Laura, and glad to hear you are getting better at taking it easy". How did the 5K go on Sunday?

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  5. Charlotte@CommitnessToFitnessJuly 30, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    congrats on those 23 miles!! i very much appreciate when Canadian bloggers translate the kms into miles, so thank you for that:) and i know its not good to always push and push because injury, burn out, etc but there's something to be said about the drive to keep getting better. so, there's a positive spin on the ego for ya.

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  6. Ha - no big secret - I think it is age and the fact that my body is tired sometimes!!

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  7. Oh cool, I'll just call my ego "drive" and make it a good thing! I like the way you think Charlotte, now I'm going to run 10K (or 6.2 miles for our American readers) :)

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  8. Enjoy your rest day! Lately I've been enjoying the easy runs. The humidity and heat in TX forces me to slow down so I have no choice. HA!

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  9. Great job with the long run first of all. And the ego check for easy runs is HARD! I spent months before training began practicing slowing down for easy days, being comfortable with people passing me, taking longer to finish and not being embarrassed that my friends would see it. Taking my time with warm ups and cool downs.
    It is still a little rough, but the benefits are great. I feel so much stronger to run hard the next day.

    Plus, we are the only ones that really care if we do 6 minute or 9 minute miles. Its just annoying running talk to everyone else right?

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  10. katie @ fromicecreamtomarathonJuly 30, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Awesome job on 23! Wow, the Chicago course looks soooo long! I know it's just a close up pic, but still!
    Honestly, I don't struggle to take it easy on my easy runs. Not at all. I look forward to them as much as I do to my long runs!

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  11. No no no...the guys at work really do care about my running, I swear! Point taken...

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  12. Thanks Katie...tell me about it, that course covers so much of the city! I love Chicago and I'm looking forward to seeing some new areas, but honestly it will probably all be a blur come race day.

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  13. Still suffering with the heat & humidity? That's summer in Texas I suppose. Our temps are actually cooler than normal right now and he humidity has thankful taken a hike (for now!)

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  14. haha. Thats why I had to start a blog. I wouldn't shut up

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  15. Uber jealous! Enjoy it!

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  16. Sugar Coated SheridanJuly 30, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Congrats on the long run!! It is hard for me not to push myself to the limit ALL THE TIME while I'm running...

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  17. Thanks Beth, so true and so hard. Need to realize it's okay to dial it back sometimes

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  18. its called a heart rate strap i had same problem.. garmin made me stay in zone 3 160 bpm NO MORE lol

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  19. That's a good idea Chris...I've never tried using a heart rate monitor, worth a shot!

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  20. I've been trying to incorporate HRM training into my runs and slowing down is a lot harder than it people think it would be.


    I think it is an ego thing to some degree - I know that by slowing down and building endurance I'll ultimately be a better runner, but my ego tells me not to hold anything back.



    An interesting internal struggle on runs to be sure...

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  21. Very true PJ...we know what's good for us but tough to put it into practice sometimes. You're the second person to mention heart rate training, it really is something I should look into. I have a Nike+ watch and I know I can add a Polar HRM to it, could be worthwhile.
    Thanks for weighing in with your thoughts!

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