February 06, 2012

Record running volume

I love broadening, and painting, my horizons
Strangely enough, I have never been a consistent record keeper of my run training. One reason was that from June 2005 until April 2010 I received a spreadsheet that detailed my sessions. And I was pretty diligent about doing all my training so I figured that the program was my diary.

A friend who visited us from Australia to run the Whistler 50 in November helped change my mind; he carried with him, like a treasure, a thick diary with one day to a page in which he detailed, among other things, his running. Some pages were completely filled, others only had a couple of sentences or even just a few words.

Especially the latter was a revelation to me, as I have kept plenty of diaries with notes on all sorts of things but rarely daily for a consistent period of time as I always believed I should write a lot, fill the page, or not bother. Of course you might not have that much to write every day, or not make the time, and once I missed a day, or three, I'd lose the motivation because the chain was broken.

I'd never considered the freedom of saying very little, like simply writing "Ran 30K, felt great", if that's all I had to say.

Another reason for keeping a record now is that I own a Garmin, as of June last year. I can effortlessly  keep track of the distance I run, as well as average pace, heart rate, etc. So since December 3, 2010, I've been keeping a diary of my run training and, with permission to write the briefest of entries, I've got a daily record.

So far I have filled most of each page every day as the permission to write as little as I want invariably means I have more to say than I initially thought. Writing daily in my training diary is a new habit I very much enjoy, especially now that I'm running daily for the first time and am covering more distance too.

In the past week, I ran the most I've ever done in one training week, covering 129.5K. The spectacular weather helped to make it very enjoyable. My calves are tight, but other than that, I am feeling great.

Whenever we try new things, we likely have expectations that are based on old experiences so we can expect to be surprised. My body showed me on a few occasions this past week that it was not as fatigued from the record mileage as my mind thought it was; even though my mind didn't change its mind about being tired, my body kept moving as if it wasn't. It was my body resisting the fatigue, rather than my mind which is what I've been used to.

It's the continued string of such discoveries and the dynamic nature of being a runner that keeps me motivated. I love being in motion, especially when you feel its momentum.

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