Monday, June 6, 2011

On Not Doing a Long Run

People who don't do a long workout on the weekend don't really know what it's like.  They make guilt-inducing statements like, "You should try to get out more often on the weekends," and don't understand why I'd say that it was hard for me to get going early on Saturday mornings.  People who don't do long runs just get up, maybe exercise a bit, eat breakfast, and they are ready to go.  I'd have to get up, drink coffee and wake up, run for a few hours, come home, shower, try to eat something, and then I'm ready to go.  It's hard to do all that before 9am.  Plus when I was done I was tired.  I wanted to take a nap in the sunshine, not go shovel dirt around in a garden, walk around in the heat, canoe up a river, or haul my lazy self around town on a bike.

In short, doing a long run was my weekend.  It- and it's after effects- controlled everything.  And in some ways I miss that because now that I'm not doing them a huge chunk of my "normal life" is missing.  The first time I truly was ready to start my Saturday at 9am, I just sat on the couch, paralyzed as to how to handle the huge amount of time that lay before me.  Should I clean?  Run errands?  Practice the piano?  So many options and so much energy with which to do them.  But on the other hand, doing long runs is a point of honor.  On Monday you can swap stories with your runner friends about how far you went or how hot (or cold!) it was or if you hit your goal paces.  Not doing that feels kind of lazy and lame.

But I'm trying to embrace the positive aspects of short running.  Yesterday, Daniel and I biked a bit of Ride the Drive.  It was going on through downtown, and since it was fairly cool out, we decided to bike to church (which is downtown) rather than try to drive, and then we biked over to Tex Tubb's on the East Side for lunch.  I Google-maped it after the fact, and it was about a 12 mile round trip.

Red bikes go faster.
This would never never never have happened after a 15-miler.  At least not without a lot of grumbling.  But I'm glad it did.  It was fun.  It was different.  I got to see the city in a way that I wouldn't normally.  Only once a year can you cruise down the Wash' mostly car-free.  I'm sure I'll go back to doing long runs again sometime, but for now I'm trying to embrace the laziness new opportunities that present themselves.

Ever had to make a big change to your schedule that you were unsure about only to discover unexpected benefits?  Want to share any tips for balancing long runs and the rest of your life on the weekend?  Think I'm just making excuses for being a slacker?  Think doing long runs is only for crazy people?