On Thanksgiving morning, I decided to go for a run. I didn’t know it would be the longest run of the year.
Since starting the Jeff Galloway run/walk method of running with my GymBoss timer, I have only been using the treadmill. Thanksgiving morning weather was nice – not too cold, not too windy. My wife and daughter headed to the gym and I felt great so, to borrow a line from Forest Gump, I just decided to just go for a run.
I took off without much of an idea of how far I would go. Since this was the first run outside in several months and the first outside run with the GymBoss timer, I was totally playing this by ear. I figured I would run my normal 3 mile loop – out of my neighborhood, around the exterior loop of the adjoining neighborhood, through the path in the woods that hook into the park, the loop around the park, then back home.
A mile and a half into the run, I was feeling really good. The 3/1 ratio forced walk breaks were helping me significantly and I wasn’t tired at all. At this point, I was on the exterior loop of the adjoining neighborhood, with either the choice of either a left turn towards the park, or a right turn onto a long straight away heading away from my house. I decided to turn right and make a (significantly) longer run out of the excursion. This was a familiar route, one of my normal runs from my half marathon training days. It was a route that I took on multiple weekday mornings back then, and I knew exactly what was ahead of me. Depending on how to end the run, it was either a five or six mile loop. When training for my first half marathon in Virginia, we would run 10K Wednesdays. Six miles at night, through the only neighborhood that had street lights. I’d run this same 10K distance by myself in my half marathon training on Wednesday mornings before work. I was almost always late to work and almost always sore all day.
At the end of what is a five mile loop is the hill back into my neighborhood. While I know I have to cover that hill at some point, I wasn’t ready to stop. So I kept on running, finally taking a left turn into the park and heading home. The run ended up being six full miles, my longest in almost two years. At the end, my body felt pretty good. I wasn’t fast (10:55 average pace), but I wasn’t sore at all. I worked around the house all day without feeling like I just wanted to nap. The complete run is shown here if you’re interested. The 1000+ calories burned eliminated any fret over eating a fantastic, yet simple Thanksgiving meal. We had gingerbread for dessert, not pie – my waistline appreciates having a diabetic mother-in-law visiting. Lower calorie desserts are the norm at home, when we have them at all (yes, even at Thanksgiving).
I’m really liking this run/walk method and know that if I keep it up, I’ll be in better shape and my knees / legs won’t be screaming at me after a long run.