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Running isn’t Simple…

It sounds simple.  Put your sneakers on and go out for a run.  Seems straightforward enough.  So why isn’t it this easy? (Or is it just me?)

Well, I’m sure the answer to that question varies slightly for everyone.  Here are my thoughts on my run from 2/6/13…

Today’s run was a true test of my will; willing my body to do what my mind wanted it to do at the same time I was convincing my mind I could do it.  Confused?  Ya.  Me too.

Today’s run hurt.

Today’s run required change.  I set out with a goal of 6 miles.  I’ve been tired lately… really tired.  I think it has something to do with my 100 mile goal for January which ended with me reaching that goal by finishing a 13 mile run at 11:30 Thursday night.  It wasn’t so much the 13 miles.  I had done the training to get me to that mileage no problem.  I think it was the cumulative 100 miles (about 20 more in a month than I’ve done in a while) along with teaching at the gym frequently.  Could be because of my diet as well.  Don’t get me wrong.  I eat well for the most part, but I have had many more indulgences lately!

Running is a Process

I need want more than just a pair of simple running sneakers to get the run done. (Ha! “Simple” running sneakers.  That’s funny.  How much time do you spend in a Running Shoe store while shopping for your next perfect fit??!!  I wonder how many different running shoes actually exist.  Anyone?)

I started out with my Garmin not finding satellites quickly.  I waited and waited and finally set off.  It was probably about 0.15 miles before the satellites kicked in.  I love my Garmin (except when it can’t find the satellites).  GPS. Heart rate. Pace. What’s not to love?

I had my JayBird bluetooth wireless earbuds in.  These of course were connected to my iPhone strapped around my arm in my adidas arm band.  Thank goodness for my music today!

My UnderArmour ColdGear Compression pants were perfect for the weather today.



I had two layers on top – my adidas Climalite long sleeved top and my Nike Dri-Fit Thermal half zip jacket.  Do I need these special fabrics and fits to run? No.  But I enjoy them and definitely stay warm and dry on my cold weather runs.  (And maybe TMI, but I sweat. A lot. Even when it’s cold out so I prefer to have these wicking/warming fabrics on.)

My Experia socks with Thorlo technology are the only socks I wear now to workout in… today’s color? Hot pink.

I wore my Fuel Belt and brought along my chapstick and one bottle of water.  Only ended up having a few sips but it’s a comfort factor to have water on me at all times.

So is running simple for me? No.  I think about layers and materials, water and chapstick, music and… even the type of sneakers to wear!  Right now I’m keeping it simple (hehe).  If I run outside I wear my Mizuno Nirvanas.  Done.  Simplest part of the whole running process.  Yes, sometimes running is a process.

The Run and my thoughts during it…

I realized around 0.2 miles both of my shins were screaming at me. What?  Since when do my shins hurt me?  How come I felt no pain in my shins leading up to this point in my day?  Ugh.  They burned.  But I didn’t stop.  Let’s see if this feeling goes away. (Come on, you know you’ve said this on many a run before!)  Wasn’t much further out when I felt the drag in my legs.  Just couldn’t get my groove.  WTH?!  Ugh.  I JUST WANT TO RUN!! (Do you scream at yourself in your head too?) My husband came home early so I could get a run in.  Good guy.  A keeper.  I’m not turning around.  This is my only workout time today.

At mile 1.5 I decided something needed to change. Easiest thing to change at that point? My route.  At the next turn, instead of going left, I went right.  It’s a road I run frequently, but this time I ran it the other way.  Amazing the things you can see when you’re simply facing the other way!  I saw a Gazebo I’ve never seen, an American flag mailbox I’ve never noticed (I love American flags!), and even though it’s a very familiar road, it just plain looked different!

Mile 2.5  I don’t even want to know how slow I’m going, but I think I’ve found the zone. I didn’t have to think anymore about putting one foot in front of the other.  I was noticing things around me and not thinking about my shins and heavy legs.

Mile 2.96 Okay, I’m feeling the groove… let’s go down this road I’ve never run before.  I have to look like a real runner here; I know people who live on this street.  Felt good going down… a little rough going up.

Mile 4.3 Hmmm… 5 miles or 6 miles? 5 or 6? 5 1/2?  Ugh – 6 it is.  So, let’s climb this other friggin’ hill to get a little extra in before I head back home.

Mile 5 Thank goodness this is downhill!  But why am I continually catching myself slouching?  I think I have a strong core… I work it a lot.  I’m just tired… blech.  Tired of being tired.

Mile 5.3 Dang it.  I’m going to have run past my house to get the 6 miles in.

Mile 5.6 Okay, I passed the house and now I’m on the home stretch. My legs are tired. Again.

Mile 5.85 At my house.  Feeling good… run past it again.  GET IT DONE.

Mile 6 Huh.  Well that was a rough one…. or was it?  When can I get out here and try this again? Ha!  I know all you runners chuckled at this thought of mine.  But it’s true right?  Running breeds more running.


Okay, let's look at the pace.... What?!?!  THAT was my last mile?  Wow.  That's a great mile for me... especially with how I was feeling this whole run.  Wonder how the rest of the miles actually look like versus what they felt like?!

Okay, let’s look at the pace…. What the?!?! THAT was my last mile? Wow. That’s a great mile for me… especially with how I was feeling this whole run. Wonder how the rest of the miles actually shaped up to be versus what they felt like?!

Mile 1: 9:58 (basically a slow climb the entire mile) Avg HR: 142

Mile 2: 9:02 (a lot of downhill) Avg HR:148

Mile 3: 9:04 (rolling terrain) Avg HR: 146

Mile 4: 9:46 (some definite climbs but honestly I thought this was my pace for my “easy” miles!) Avg HR: 151

Mile 5: 9:14 (one short and steep climb) Avg HR: 151

Mile 6: 8:53 (back down mile 1 with a tiny quick climb near the end) Avg HR: 155


Huh.  Not bad for a "feel like a$$ run."  Wow... look at how low my heart rate was! Ya - I guess I'll try again.

Huh. Not bad for a “feel like a$$ run.” Wow… look at how low my heart rate was! Ya – I guess I’ll try again.

Lessons Learned

Okay, it just doesn’t feel right to only complain about the run.  Good comes out of even the bad runs, right?!  What did I learn from it?

  • Even when my legs are tired and sore they still keep moving.  One foot keeps falling in front of the other (directly under my torso no less) without me having to think too hard about it.
  • Even when  I think I’m running the slowest miles of my life – I’m not.  Maybe I should’ve looked at my watch to get some encouragement from the paces I would’ve seen on there instead of ignoring it thinking it was all bad news.
  • The combination of shirts I wore was annoying.  The bottom one kept riding up.
  • Feels good to be well hydrated and not NEED the water on a 6 mile run.
  • My heart rate was lower than usual at given paces.  My cardio is improving.  I think it’s time to adjust my numbers (zones).  (Maybe this will be a separate post topic!)
  • In 25* weather, I should’ve worn my mittens; the thumb holes didn’t cut it.
  • My mind needs to just shut up sometimes and let my body “do”.
  • Camel toe seems inevitable in any and all running pants I have.  WTH?
  • Feels great when all of a sudden I realize I’ve been enjoying the scenery around me and not been down on myself for how the legs feel, the pace feels, the annoying shirt riding up feels, etc.
  • CHANGE is good.  I should run some different routes or at the very least start running my current routes in the other direction.
  • Running by homes of people you know makes your form improve.
  • I am stronger than I think.
  • I’m high maintenance… even in running.  Who knew? (Careful there friends!)
  • Running isn’t just lacing up and heading out… for me anyway.  I need all the gadgets and fabrics and thing-a-ma-bobs and I’m fortunate enough to have them.
  • My husband is a great guy to come home early to watch the kids so I can get in my run for the day.
  • And lastly, I appreciate both the trials and the triumphs in running, no matter how big or small they might be and truly look forward to my next run.  I guess that means I’m a runner.  And THAT is a label with which will I happily live!
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12 Responses to Running isn’t Simple…

  • Great post – it’s so true! Sometimes my mind wants to run and my body says no, other times my body is strong but my mind gives up first! As a fellow NH runner/blogger – I blame the weather!

    • Katherine says:

      Haha! I’d like to blame the weather but I know it’s not always the weather’s fault… I mean I do have all this cold running gear that helps with cold winter running, right?! ;-) I love it when both my mind and my body say ‘yes, we got this!’ I’m always running after the next run for those moments!

  • Great post… I also run with several items, music, phone, water bottle, keys, id, gloves, beanie/hat, etc. Sometimes I have all of them, sometimes I have none of them. But really, running is just running. It CAN be as simple as we make it. All of those gadgets and items help you mentally, but at it’s basics, running is just one foot in front of the other. Children are perfect at it. From is right on and they just GO.

    Thanks for pointing it out on twitter.

    • Katherine says:

      I should add id to my list of items to run with. I figure my phone says “Husband” in it so if someone did find me they could call my “husband”! LOL I agree, sometimes running is just running. I wish is was just that more often! I’m working on finding that zone more consistently!

  • This post kind of cracks me up. You may be the most ADD runner on the planet ;) I generally can’t distinguish my miles as well as you did, so maybe I should. I like how you broke it down so you could monitor it and fix things later.

  • AmyC says:

    Way to push through a mentally tough run so successfully Katherine! Isn’t there a sign out there that says something like “if running were easy everyone would do it?” It’s a rare breed of us with “runner-itis” that keep at it even when it sucks, and when we are hurting, and when we could be doing a dozen other “easy” things.

    • Katherine says:

      Oh so true Amy! Thanks! And yes, I do believe I’ve seen that sign before along with… “Our sport is your sport’s punishment!”

  • Andrea says:

    I am always thinking just like you! I must be ADD too! LOL But sometimes, Runs just suck, for lack of a better word. You can’t just turn off and run, you are focused on every little detail. I think that is true for everything in life though. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes its not but you always make it through and feel better afterwards.

    I am also very particular about the clothes I run in. I have donated brand new running tops because they ride up or pants that have seams that rub in the wrong way. It’s crazy, I know :)

    • Katherine says:

      I’m so glad to know I’m in good company with my ADD running! LOL I feel like I want to become a better runner so badly that I need to pay attention to details to try to make my next run better in at least one way! And I get it – it’s not crazy! Waste of money maybe, but not crazy! ;)

  • I have to remind myself of the top two takeaways incredibly frequently. constantly think I won’t make it or am moving at a snail pace. Haha. Good post!

  • I love your attention to detail Katherine! And btw ADD doesn’t focus nearly like this, it’s all over the place forgetting everything and I doubt if someone with ADD could even get through a 5k… and I digress. Way to go! You rock. I just wrote a similar post awhile back on how “simple” my saturday long run is, I think you can appreciate the preparation that goes into even a simple long run >>


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