Sunday, September 6, 2009

Water, water, everywhere

I will probably be posting links to the New York Times’ “Well” blog because, frankly, it is awesome, and is the type of blog I would do if I had the time and resources. This past summer and this fall they have had a lot of entries on running and marathons as many of their contributors will be participating in the NYC Marathon this November.

Their most recent post is on hydrating when running, particularly while training for a marathon. I have found this more relevant recently because I have not been a fan of drinking during running, but I have started being more intention when hydrating during runs. This is definitely a consequence of having been very active during Seattle’s hottest summer on record: I trained for and completed the Seattle to Portland Bike ride and the SeaFair Sprint Triathlon this summer, and during all this training, I started noticing that I needed water much more than I thought. On the first day of the STP, I went the first 50 miles without a water-bottle on me, and I suffered for it. I’ve also noticed that I was sweating more during my runs, even when it was cooler outside, which added to the feeling of thirst.

As the weather changes, perhaps I’ll return to not needing as much hydration during running; I’ll be interested to see. But as always, I will follow the advice that is mentioned in the article, which tells us to listen to what the body wants when it wants it ("Train yourself to drink to thirst").

Saturday run

I ran a (seemingly) quick 5.25 mile run yesterday afternoon. This was the shortest run I’ve ran in awhile. For the most part I’ve been keeping my regular runs at 8 miles. I enjoy those, but I feel I need to change things up a bit. Not every run has to be that long. I’m thinking that throwing in some shorter runs while help better with recovery, so that when I do the 8 mile run, I’ll perform better.

It felt good to do something somewhat shorter. Because the run was shorter, it also gave me more time to do some jump-roping before and after my run as a warm u and cool down, as well as some core work. Both the jump-roping and the core workouts have kept my running more interesting and have subtly improved my running. The jump-roping in particular has made my right Achilles tendon feel much better; it no longer aches like it has been doing for the past 6 months. Though that aching was not too frequent, it was enough to make me think that a larger injury could be looming. I’m still monitoring it, but I’m less worried now because it is feeling stronger.

Just a little rain...

Right now I am listening to the first rainfall of the month, and just like I did on the first real hot day of the summer, I am thinking about how I want to go running in it. The change in weather can be hard on running. Just when you’ve acclimated to running in the sunny heat and you’ve learned to enjoy the sweat, you need to start preparing for the change. Though the sound of the rain makes me envious of the cars passing by my window, I know from experience that it’s not always a welcoming sound. It can be too easy to pass on a run because of the Seattle rainfall. And even when you do get out there, you question just what the hell you are doing for at least ten minutes, if not more.

In reality, cool, drizzly weather is probably the best for running. The type of weather where you don’t break a sweat, and even if you do, it gets washed away by the rain. When you head out the door, you want to start moving right away, as if you are actually running for cover. But when you’re finishing that run, and you start walking to cool down, you are not so hurried. Instead it is a moment to enjoy: the relief of finishing and the urge to continue settle themselves, and both body and mind thank each other for getting you to this moment. Instead of wanting to retreat back to your home, you want to enjoy this natural descent from the run.

Despite the rush and pleasantness of such moments, it can be hard to keep in mind such experiences as motivation for these upcoming rainy runs. So while I may currently be pining for a late night run in the rain, I can’t say this is how I’ll feel when I’m taken to task.