Enjoying a run (with a lowercase “R”)

Awhile back, Runner’s World contributor, Mark Remy, posted a blog called “The Beauty of the ‘Lowercase R’ Run”, where he waxes rhapsodic about the difference between a Run and a run…and how important taking time to go for a run (lowercase ‘r’) is.

I got back to that today, as I opted to go for a run on my lunch break.  Normally, even on days where I sporadically decide to go for a run, I log a Run.  You know…I run as hard as I can as fast as I can and I don’t stop until I’ve accomplished some goal that I set out to achieve.  It had been ages since I just logged a simple, easy run.  I get caught up in training for upcoming races that sometimes I forget the glory of the lowercase ‘r’ run.

So, what is the difference?

Let me quote Mark Remy’s fantastic article:

For nearly all of my running life, I’ve been logging Runs — uppercase-R Runs. Uppercase-R Runs are Very Important Runs. They’re things like Long Runs. Or Tempo Runs. Speedwork. Even just a few easy miles can be an uppercase-R Run, because when you’re Training (uppercase “T”), that’s a Recovery Run.

And those lowercase ‘r’ runs?  Well, he describes those as the runs that you don’t pay attention to pace, to time, to how long you’re out there.  You find yourself simply running (or jogging) and soaking in everything else.  You don’t find yourself gasping for breath at the end of it.  But you come away with this feeling of refreshment.  That you accomplished something.  And that it felt good.  No pressure.  No high standards.  Just you…your shoes…the road (or treadmill).

These runs are SO important.  And I had forgotten about how important they are.

Did I run fast?  Nope.  An easy pace of about 6.4 mph on the treadmill over at the gym.  I ran for 20 minutes.  I logged 2.1 miles.  And I didn’t find myself glancing at the clock to see how much longer I had.  I just took the run for what it was…a simple, easy run.

I’m coming off a run streak.  The days I don’t run I feel weird.  These easy, filler runs, might just be what the doctor ordered.  From running every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day to dropping back to the normal routine hasn’t been an easy transition for me.  I found the running streak has, indeed, helped me with my running.  I run faster.  I run better.  But in order to keep it going, I think these lowercase ‘r’ runs need to find their way back into my dailies.  Even if it is just for 20 minutes while on lunch break.

While you should always strive to Run…always find time, during the week, or at least once a month, for a run.

Trust me…it’s a feeling I can’t even put into words…but it reminds me just why I love running and Running so much.


A frustratingly slow start…

Three days into 2012 and already I’ve found myself in tears over running.  Not because I can’t do it.  I just haven’t.  And the Virgo, perfectionist, running junkie inside of me is screaming for a run.

Screaming.

After a very long ride home yesterday in some pretty nasty weather, the plan was to go to the gym and at least get in a run on the treadmill.  But, lack of sleep and fatigue from the car trip made that the last thing I wanted to do.

And then…after bypassing the opportunity for my first run of the season, instead…I fussed and obsessed over the fact that I have not logged any mileage yet in the New Year.  It truly bothered me.  And I knew…I knew I should have gotten on that treadmill yesterday.  I should have at least gotten in a short run if nothing else.  In the grand scheme of things, no matter what is going on in my life…I always, always feel better after a run.  If I’m tired, I wake up.  If I’m angry, I lighten up.  If I need to think, I get a lot off my mind.  And so on.

I had a lot pulling at me yesterday and even my roommate told me to go do my run.  That I would feel better.  But I’m a stubborn person and I refused.  And so…here I sit on the third day of the year with goal of 500 miles…and nothing to show for it yet.

Frustrating?  You bet!

So, it’s time for an attitude adjustment.  I have a goal.  And to reach that goal, certain things need to happen.  And I can make all the excuses I want, but I also need to be accountable to my goal.  So…taking a deep breath and starting fresh.

500 miles.  It’s definitely obtainable.  And I will not beat myself up should it feel like I’m not getting there.  I know I can do it.  And I know I will do it.  I’m just impatient.  And I’m really bad about beating myself up if I feel I’m doing nothing toward the goal.

That being said…I start today.

2012…let’s hit the ground running…together!

And I will run 500 miles…

This wasn’t the first post I intended to do in this blog…but it’s how it worked out in the end.  It’s the close of an exciting year.

I took up running early in the year, got sidetracked by illness, got back into it, ran my first 5K…followed by many more, ran my first 5 miler, got injured, ran my first half marathon, ran my personal PR, and have just kept on going, even after saying my season was over on Thanksgiving.  There were more races to run, so I entered them.  Thinking, as I am a cold weather wimp, that I would not like running in the cold.  I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite thing to do, but I love going out to races and participating.

I’m not fast enough to win.  You’ll normally find me in the middle of the pack in races.  I’ve won my age group twice this year in small races.  The fact is…I LOVE TO RUN!

It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

This morning, on the eve of the eve of the New Year, I pulled out my Training Log and began to tally up the miles from when I first started keeping track (April 4, 2011 – for those wondering) to today (December 30, 2011), I have run a total of 327.12 miles.

That’s a lot of mileage.

A few days ago, my roommate told me to set a goal for 366 miles (one mile per day…because it is a leap year), for 2012.  I was satisfied with this.  But then a fellow running friend of mine threw it down…to aim for 500 miles in 2012.

So here it is…my pledge to log 500 miles over the course of 2012.

And this blog will hopefully be my place to discuss why I run, where I run, how I do, and just…in general…keep track of the mileage I put down this year.

500 miles.

Best get started…