I had friends here for five days a couple of weeks ago, and then I was pretty sick, so I didn't run much the last few weeks. I'm feeling better now, so I'm going to try and run 4-5 times per week (at my MAF heart rate). Here is my running calendar from November:
The green shows the days that I went for a run. It was probably the least running I've done in six years, aside from when I was injured!
I ran five miles yesterday, and my pace was super slow, even for MAF training. My heart rate was constantly getting over 146, but I felt like I was running as slow as I could. In the end, my average heart rate ended up being 147--and it's never supposed to get over 146 for MAF training. I also had a couple of 12:00+ miles in there.
I was feeling energetic this morning, so I decided to go for a run at the state park. Joey was giving me "the look", which I'm a sucker for, and I ended up bringing him with me. He loves running with me! I just hoped that I'd be able to keep my heart rate down while wrangling an excited dog through the park.
Despite all of my training attempts, Joey still pulls on the leash during walks/runs. I didn't put his anti-pull harness on today, because the last time he wore it, it chafed his chest a little bit. I almost gave up and went home during the first mile, but I just hoped he'd settle down once we got into a good rhythm. Still, my heart rate and pace were up and down like crazy. I tried to just focus on my heart rate and keep it under 146.
|I tried to get Joey to look at the camera, but he was way too|
interested in the geese nearby.
A few miles in, I was about to pass a couple who was walking the same direction that I was running, so I said "Good morning!" as I passed by. A second later, I heard, "Katie?" So I turned around, and was surprised to see Christi, an old co-worker of mine that I hadn't seen in about 11 years! We used to work at Curves together, and I left when I was pregnant with Eli.
It was funny, because I was literally just talking about her to Jerry a couple of days ago. I slowed to a walk and walked along with her and her husband for about half a mile to see how she's been and what she's been up to. Facebook wasn't even really a thing until after I quit working at Curves, so I didn't keep in touch with the women I worked with. Anyway, it was great to run into her, and we mentioned getting together for lunch or something soon.
Shortly after I started running again, there was a man running toward me. I grabbed Joey's leash to keep him close to me, and as the man passed by, he said, "It's great to see you out running again!" The whole interaction was very quick, and I was distracted by Joey, so I didn't get a good look at him and I have no idea who it was. But hearing what he said to me made me kind of miss running as much as I used to. If the man was who I think it may have been, he was probably referring to when I was injured with the stress fracture in 2015. I used to walk Joey at the park pretty often when I was injured (instead of my usual running). A few people asked me why I wasn't running, so I explained to them that I was injured. I think that's what he meant by it being good to see me out running again.
I was kind of surprised to realize that someone actually noticed. People notice when I run and when I don't. I never really thought of that! But I get used to seeing the same people running (either at the park or near my house) so if they suddenly disappeared and I didn't see them for a long time, I would wonder what happened.
Actually, there is a man that runs circles around my neighborhood in the afternoons, and he started doing it a couple of years ago. He would go past my house every day, so I got used to seeing him. I watched as he got thinner, and I was in awe that he never seemed to miss a day of running. Then one day, I saw him run/walking. And then another day he stopped to stretch his knee. And after that, he was wearing knee supports on his runs.
I didn't realize it until I was typing this post just now, but I haven't seen him in a long time. It was probably during the summer that I last saw him, and he was wearing the knee supports. Like me, he probably has no idea that someone notices that he runs!
Anyway, I have no idea where I was going with that. When I realized someone noticed, I just found it motivating to want to continue running. Today, I had only planned to do the five-mile loop; but since I walked half a mile with Christi (and I'd turned off my Garmin for that part), I decided to run the small loop (1.5 miles) after the five-mile loop, to total roughly six miles of running when I was done. And honestly, if I didn't have Joey with me, I probably would have run 8-10 miles--that's how good I was feeling!
My average heart rate ended up being right on the MAF target of 146 bpm, and my pace was faster than yesterday (although not by much). I was hoping that there would be a nice progression (or even regression) in my pace over time, but it has been SO inconsistent.
I don't even want to attempt to make any conclusions yet, because I clearly haven't been running the mileage I would need in order to see progress. For December, I'm going to try and get in 60+ miles, and hopefully that will help the MAF numbers be more consistent for a better analysis.
I know several of you were looking forward to seeing how this MAF experiment goes; so, I'm sorry that I'm off to a bad start, but hopefully this month will be better!