I rarely do a short run outside of a taper or vacation. Less than five, maybe four miles is extremely unusual for me. Most of my runs are in the 9-10 mile area. But when dogsitting in another town meant I had no treadmill access, I had no choice but to run outside during a week with temperatures inching close to 100 degrees. And I forgot my headphones.
No music. No comfortable temperatures. I suspected it was gonna suck - but I wanted those runs.
So I played it smart. I waited until late in the evening, when sunset was less than an hour away (a luxury of short runs; with small mileage comes small time commitments). I wore shorts and a loose tank. I drank a full liter of seltzer water in the hours leading up to each event.
And when I finally set out... it was pretty all right! It was definitely still hot but the sun was slipping toward the horizon, no longer threatening to beat (down on) me. The lack of music was mitigated by running in a brand new neighborhood. I powered up inclines secure in the knowledge that I didn't need to save my legs for the miles ahead. But most of all - why didn't anyone tell me how mentally free you feel when you know you've only got two miles ahead of you?
I never took a walk break and ran all four total miles under 10 minutes/a mile, sometimes well under. That's pretty good a) for me b) without music c) when it's that hot d) and it's not hilly but it's not flat either e) and I'm not even pushing myself. I think my subconscious knew I didn't have far to go and gave my body permission to, shall we say, let it all run out. Gently of course, but all of it.
Do I expect to incorporate more runs of this ilk into my training? Um... I don't know. Should I? Do two milers actually do anything positive beyond the obvious better-than-nothing? I can see some potential pros. But I feel so... I don't know. Unaccomplished? Lazy? Guilty? Something. When I'm not tapering or vacationing I feel something negative when I'm not cranking out weekly mileage totals in the 25-30 range. Is that bad? I don't know. I mean, psychologically I should probably chill out, but as a runner - is that bad?
Well? Is that bad? Am I running too much? Not enough? I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M ABOUT ANYMORE.
Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. See ya real soon!