So a few runs ago, I ran into technical issues, where my iPod got messed up, another time I screwed up the treadmill. A fellow runner suggested I try running sometime without my music, so tonight I did just that. The only gadget I had was my GPS watch, which I ignored, where typically I am looking at my pace probably every mile.
My training routine had me on a 30 minute run, easy with some hills. I decided to take a new route and to not worry about anything but running. Honestly it has been a long time since I have run with no music, so I had no idea what to expect.
I took off up a hill immediately. I typically run downhill for the first 3/4 of a mile, so going the other way was going to be different. I had no clue on how far my run would be, not a clue on whether I would actually get over 30 minutes or not, I just knew where I was going to run, and that was the big ass hill I had always dreaded the thought of running. If I am going to do something new, such as go out with no gadget and do an easy run with hills, I wanted it to be a situation where i had no idea on what my pace would/should be or my distance at a particular time.
The first thing I noticed was that my allergies were back a bit and man, I wheeze. Loud. The asthma wasn’t too bad, in that I felt fine, however at first I sounded like a broken valve on a bike pump. I chuckled and figured that it was good I typically run in the boonies, so no one thought I was dying.
I got around the school area, about 1/2 a mile down the road and I just started feeling better for the hill from hell. This is one I always figured I should run for training on hills, just never really cared to take it on. The hill actually has a name: Burnt HIll. Why? Not really sure, and I only know the name because we have one of our cellular towers on the top.It is one of those steady up for around a quarter of a mile. Yuck.
My pace slowed way down going up the hill, but I wasn’t going to check to what speed. I was simply focusing on my breathing, keeping a steady pace and realizing that I could hear other things. I could hear the traffic on the interstate near by. I could hear the cars coming up from behind me and could actually hear the birds. More important was that I could really put my breathing in sync with my running.
My route when down a quick hill and then back up a steeper hill, just a little shorter this time. This is the view of the hill from google street view.
It really might not look like much, but the terrain is pretty impressive for a town run. It a little less than 1 mile, this run took me up to 6,958 feet, down to 6,865 and then back up the 6,900 again.
As you can tell, my pace was all over the place with these hills, but my times didn’t really vary that much. Mile 1 came in at 9:18, mile 2 at 10:04 and mile 3 at 10:02. From the heat map you can really see how much my pace ebbed and flowed.
So a couple things learned.
First, I can run with no music. It wasn’t quite as bad as I feared.
Second, I can run that damn hill. It wasn’t quite as bad as I feared.
Third, I can keep a solid pace when running an easy pace run.
Fear was a big deal for me, pushing me to create habits around running. This put me on the same route, the same music, hell even the same water bottle (I changed that up as well, using a handheld versus a belt). I think I succeeded in bridging a gap I created on my own and now look forward to doing more various types of runs with this training program.
Also, sometimes you just need to run and enjoy the beauty of nature.It was nice to just have nature surrounding me, looking out over two states and seeing snow capped mountains and ridge lines literally 40 miles away.
I also have to give a big shout out to my bride, who seriously kicked my ass tonight in running distance, running time and Nike Fuel. I must say that she always impressed me with the fact that even after chasing our little monster, she can put in a solid run with little to no effort. She also impresses me in that she can start an easy run and then continue to add pace, ending a lot faster than she starts. Never under estimate a German Texan.
Great run honey!