Running in Accord with Nature

The calendar reads December 4, but it feels more like September 4. With the temperature climbing into the 50s and 60s both today and yesterday, it provided ample opportunity for some impromptu quick runs. As of now, I still don’t have an exact training goal, but I’m actually really enjoying it. I don’t plan when I’ll do my workouts, or what exactly I’ll do. I just go ahead and do I feel like, or what my body can handle. Or what it is in accord with nature.

All last week, with average temperatures in the 30s and 40s, most of my runs were on the slower side, around 7:40 or 7:45 pace. Then yesterday came along and all of a sudden, it was 55 degrees. Plus, this was the first time I was running alone in over a week, so I was fully able to dictate my own pace. I was planning on going 9 miles at around 6:55 or 7:00 minute pace. I ended up going 10.5 at 6:33 pace, practically turning the run almost into a less intense workout all its own.  However, the weather was just too beautiful, and I ran with abandon. I wasn’t worrying about tiring myself out for a big workout, or a race coming up. It was nice out, I felt good, so I just flew. And it felt great.

Today was even warmer, so I did a 5K tempo workout with a friend of mine. I was a bit worried I’d tired myself out from the day before, but the tempo went quite well. Though this was a defined, explicit workout, I didn’t have a specific time that I wanted to hit. I just wanted to get my legs turning over and feel my lungs working. My splits were negative, roughly 5:50, 5:30 and 5:20. My final 5K time was about 17:12. Because it hasn’t been all that long since I started running again after Steamtown and my mileage is nowhere near what it was during the summer, I’m quite happy with that went. It gave me a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy an unseasonably warm day. I probably wouldn’t’ve gone so fast if it was 20 degrees colder.

But that’s what it’s all about, enjoying days like this when you get them. And if you’re feeling good and your body can handle it, I say go ahead and fly. Who says you have to save your workout for a certain day? 10 miles at 6:30 pace might be just as good as three miles at 6 minute pace. As I’ve repeated many times, it’s all about finding what works for you. Sometimes, though, nature throws you curve-balls like the past two days. Enjoy them while you got them.

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