Monday, November 15, 2010

The Elusive 150s and Running Thoughts

I am dying to see a 5 in the middle of my weight number, but I just can't seem to break into the 150s yet.  The scale said 162 this morning.  I had a fairly good weekend eating-wise and I logged all those miles between Wednesday and Sunday so I feel really good about my efforts.  I just need to stay focused and keep plugging away.  We'll see what tomorrow's official weigh in brings.

I checked the weekend forecast and the weather is set to get colder and colder with snow and rain and high temps in the mid-30s.  That's entirely too cold for this warm-blooded runner.  Still on the fence about the event because I'm already registered, however, the registration fee is actually a donation for arthritis research so all is not lost.  Plus, I can pick up my race shirt on Friday, it's not a finisher's shirt.  Would it be cheating if I picked up the shirt on Friday and then ran my 5k Saturday morning in my toasty basement on the treadmill?  After all, I registered for the race as a way to stay accountable and keep going.  A run is a run, I say.

I wanted to add more about my friend and her 5k.  For some reason after I posted yesterday I started feeling guilty, thinking that it might have sounded like I think she can't be faster than me.  That's not it at all.  We have run together a few times and I always feel like I'm struggling to keep up with her...she's very fit.  That was my motivation for wanting to run a 5k with a similar time.  I wish she was coming to visit this weekend to run the race with me.  I know she'd push me to be faster and achieve a better time.

But it's not all about the run times.

I like knowing that I am capable of running a sub 10:00 minute mile.  I like knowing I might even be able to run a 32:00 5k next time, at least on a treadmill.  But for my everyday runs, I'm okay being slower than that.  Slower feels better on my legs, my lungs, and my knees.  I asked myself last night whether I'd rather be able to log a sub-30 minute 5k, or run 10 miles without stopping to walk.  I know it doesn't have to be either-or, and that both things are achievable, but if I had to choose, I'd go for the 10 miles.  You see, for me, being able to run longer distances feels like more of an accomplishment than running faster.  That is why I run mostly for distance instead of time.  When I plan a run, it's either 5k, 4 miles, 5 miles, or 10k.  I like the feeling of accomplishment from setting a distance goal and then running that distance.  It feels more complete than running for a specific amount of time. 

Now, should I decided next year to tackle that half marathon, I might possibly switch back to running for time.  I followed the Couch to 5K program using the specified run/walk times, and many of the half marathon training schedules are based on adding a little time to each long run.  Two of my coworkers (a marathoner and half-marathoner) successfully follow this method and swear by it.  When it comes to running 90+ minutes, they say it is easier to add 5 or 10 minutes each week because some days you run faster, some days you run slower.  A timed run has a finite end in sight.  That all makes perfect sense to me, although adding a half mile or mile each week seems perfectly doable as well.

For now, I'm sticking to 10K and under and I'll keep running for distance.  Not sure when I'll make the decision about a half.  Definitely not before January, though it always seems to be knocking around in the back of my mind.

What do you run for, time or distance?  Why?


  1. I think I do both. :) I like to be fast and beat past times, but I love that I can run far now.

  2. Pick up the shirt, and run inside. The money is going to a good cause, and you are still getting your run in. If running becomes something you don't want to do, all the fun escapes.

    I run for distance....and then if I run my distances a little faster, it's an added bonus. Lately, I've actually been trying to take it slower and easier on my body. I started running to get healthy, to lose weight, and to get happy. No need to kill myself on times to accomplish those things! :-)

  3. I usually run for distance, it makes me feel more accomplished. I still try to go as fast as I can, but I am a slooow runner haha

  4. Oh, the 150's - how I miss thee. I haven't seen a number in that range since I was nineteen years old. :) Keep up the great work, Lori!