Finally. That was fun again.

Tonight, I decided that I’m done with sucky runs.

I feel like I’ve been a slave to my Garmin, specifically, the heart rate monitor.

I’ll be honest, I feel like I’m so “evolved” by not letting the pace on my Garmin control me. But I let my heart rate control me. Maybe I should, but I’m getting bored. Obviously.

I’ve been running so many long, slow miles … I just want to go fast! I haven’t really had the motivation or energy in the past couple weeks to do any kind of speedwork, even though it would probably be beneficial to do a weekly tempo run or intervals/fartleks. I have been doing some marathon pace runs (by effort), so that’s something. I’d like to blame the heat for my lack of speedwork, but it was mental too.

So tonight, I put on my Garmin and heart rate strap (because I’m a sucker for data), laced up and headed out.

And didn’t look at my Garmin once for 5 miles. Didn’t look at my pace when it beeped for mile splits. Didn’t even check my heart rate.

I just ran at the pace my body wanted to run.

I didn’t care that yesterday was a half marathon, and also my long run, and today “should” have been a rest day, or if I had to go out, a recovery run. I’m sick of running easy all the time! I don’t like easy! That’s not why I run!

I run because it’s exhilarating! I like to run “fast.”

Fast is a relative term.

I didn’t even run fast enough for this to be considered speedwork. Maybe marathon pace. But that’s not the point.

I knew during my run that my pace was too fast to be easy, but too slow to even be a tempo run. It was that junky in-between pace that the “experts” say is a waste of time.

But I didn’t care. It felt good to just go. Instead of holding back and shuffling along because my Garmin said to hold back.

And finally … I enjoyed myself.

So … lesson learned. Stop overthinking it all the time. Just have fun. It’s supposed to be fun, remember? I’m not getting paid to do this, so who cares if my training plan isn’t executed perfectly?

I have no pictures from today’s run, but I did take these pictures earlier today, during my morning and evening commutes.

Good morning
It wasn’t too long ago that the sun was over the horizon when I got to the train station.
Not a proclamation you hear everyday
This was outside the Chicago Cultural Center. No idea what it’s for.
Chicago teachers on strike
Chicago teachers on strike


Also! I forgot to mention that during the half yesterday, someone came up to me and asked me if I have a blog. (I was wearing one of my I Run With Fast Women shirts, with on the back of it.) She said she found my blog when she was searching for people running the marathon. I didn’t get her name … but whoever you are, if you see this, I hope you had a good race! Thanks for saying “hi.”

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10 Comments on “Finally. That was fun again.”

  1. The only thing I really track is the distance. And I do that afterwards online by mapping it. It’s kind of nice, because I think I’d get super OCD about pace/distance/heart rate. I mean… it freaked me out a little seeing my pace at every mile during the race on Sunday. And the thing was- I was feeling fine. I just let it freak me out. Meh.

    I’m glad you had a good run!

    And I saw the march yesterday from my office. It was intense to watch!

  2. Hallelujah! Data can make you crazy, and like a robot. It takes awhile to break the ties with the dang thing but once you do you will feel AMAZING! I think it’s good to run fast at least once a week. Helps keep those legs fresh, builds speed, and makes that leisurely pace feel a bit more comfortable too. There aren’t any running or training rules, so so whatever makes you happy and those miles exhilarating! Sometimes I make up speed work mid workout because I just want to do something different.

    Live on the edge, get wild and crazy and let your heart race a bit 😉

  3. It’s weird. Chasing running goals can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of pressure. Some of my most fulfilling runs have been the ones where I just ditched my expectations and put one foot in front of the next until it stopped feeling good. Love the occasional non-tracked run to put the fun back in it!

  4. I’m happy you had a run that made you feel good! I have been ignoring pace and just going by feel since April, and it’s nice not to be a slave to it (or HR) for awhile. And about junk miles… I think most of my runs would be considered that! But like you said, this isn’t our job!!! 🙂

  5. I keep wondering what the “I WANT TO BE ORDINARY” sign means. I haven’t looked it up and probably should but it just seems like such an odd statement. In addition of the fact, they have one on each pillar. So strange.

  6. I am so terrible at effort-based running. I start out way too fast and them I’m overly optimistic about how I’m probably totally keeping up that pace for the rest of my run. I can rationalize 10:00 miles down to like, 8:30s.

    I feel like using the garmin helps me NOT be lazy but this is a good lesson in how I should probably ditch it sometimes just for perspective.

  7. Awesome pictures!

    And wow, how awesome that someone came up to you and asked about your blog. You are a virtual celebrity!!!

    I get very frustrated by the long, slow running versus the tempo runs, with everything in between considered “junk.” I do a lot of junk runs, actually. But as you said, we run because we enjoy it, so cheers to running in a way that brings us enjoyment!

    It’ll be so nice when the marathon is over and we can stop focusing so much on the specifics of our training plans. Sigh…

  8. Yes! Sometimes you just have to RUN and forget about the Garmin and the experts. It’s certainly not good to run that in-between junky pace too often, but I really think we can actually trust our bodies and our legs to do the right thing. If my legs need recovery pace, that is the pace that comes naturally. If my legs (and mind!) need a change from the usual aerobic plodding along, then that is what comes naturally: something a little faster and more fun.

  9. While training for my half marathon, one of the things I was most looking forward to was running without rigidity. I thought that meant running whatever distance I felt like but I soon realized that it meant running at my own pace without any fears and upsets. Looks like you feel the same way! I’m SO happy that you had a great, satisfying run. You really needed it, especially during this tough marathon taper time. I hope you fit some more of these “curing” runs in before October 7th 🙂

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