A Note About Running

Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about running all the time, because it’s not very interesting to hear about other people’s workouts.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been working out for 60 minutes, 5 times a week. Two of my five weekly workouts are weights and the other three are cardio. The cardio workouts used to consist of a combination of running, walking, the elliptical, and very sporadic use of a stepmill. Eventually, I decided it would be a good idea to run for the whole 60 minutes more often than not, so I slowly built up my running time from 40 minutes or so to 60. I increased my time slowly because traditionally, I’ve had a lot of tummy/digestive issues after running and these were bound to surface if I increased my time or speed too quickly. (The good news is now I run all the time and this rarely happens any more.)

Thanks to Daily Mile, I can tell you that the first time I ran for 60 minutes was on September 9, 2011. That day, I ran 6.04 miles, which puts me at a 9:56 minute mile pace.

today's run

today’s run

I still did the occasional elliptical workout until I quit the gym last May. Since then, I’ve been running for 60 minutes, 3 times a week. I’m not really interested in running for longer than that (once in a great while, I’ll do a longer run — so far my longest is 10 miles) because I have other things to do, so now I’ve been working on increasing my speed.

For a while, increasing my speed was pretty easy. I’d shave a second or two off my time pretty much every run. It was great, but I realized that eventually, I wouldn’t be able to keep doing that. I mean seriously, I’m not going to be running 4-minute miles, ever. So at some point, I’m not going to be able to get any faster. But when does that happen?

The fastest 60-minute run I’ve done was 8:02 minute miles for a distance of 7.46 miles. That run actually felt really good, but lately my 8-oh-something (8:05, 8:07) minute mile runs have been feeling pretty rough. I tried slowing down a little and found that an 8-one-something (8:13, 8:15) minute mile pace feels better. So I guess I’m going to stick at that pace for now and then see what happens.

This feels really lame, though, and I don’t really know why. I’m just running to get a workout, and in theory shouldn’t care about how fast I’m running, but for some reason I do. At 8-whatever minute miles, I’m running (by far) the fastest I’ve ever run in my life. (Thanks to Google I can tell you that 15 years ago, I ran a 5k in 36:26, which is 11:34 minute miles.) Should my current pace be good enough and should I just try to enjoy it (I don’t always, especially when I feel like I’m running too fast)? Do I need to forever push myself to get faster until I really can’t anymore? Is this the point where I really can’t any more? Is this the point where I should have more variety in my runs and do more long, slow runs? Is there a point to that when you’re not training for races? When you’re the kind of slacker runner who has been wearing the same running shoes for almost two years? Am I nuts?

Next time I feel compelled to tell you about my boring workout routine, I’ll talk about weight lifting. I love weighs. Heavy ones! Yeah!