This past weekend I went for my first run back with the Baltimore Road Runners Club. I was so happy to be there, I didn’t even mind waking up at the crack of dawn – well worth it considering the heat recently. At 7am, the weather was surprisingly comfortable. I loved seeing familiar faces from previous BRRC training seasons and meeting some new runners, too.
I increased my distance to 4.2 miles for this “long” run. I used an interval timer, but was able to run through some of the walking intervals once I got warmed up. I walked a bit to socialize with one of our coaches at one point because I was so happy to be able to catch up with her and generally exercise in a social setting again! I’m thankful that I have a gym membership, but group runs (particularly outdoors) will always be more enjoyable.
It was very relaxing to run this route again. I didn’t listen to music and on a whim decided to use my daily Headspace meditation session during the run. It was a very different, but very good experience to follow the guided meditation cues while running. Instead of focusing on my tired legs and lungs, I observed more of the sounds around me than I would typically notice. A recent Headspace session reflected on observing your thoughts from the sidelines, as if you’re sitting on the side of the road watching cars go by. It is a great technique for anxiety sufferers or simply to organize your thoughts. I was more aware of the rest of my body and thus, my running form. It was a positive experience and if I can make it more of a routine it seems like something that would be helpful with mentally powering through difficult runs and races. I still have marathon aspirations (2017?) so I’ll definitely need that… If you’re interested in meditation, I highly recommend giving it a try during a run! I’m curious to hear other runners thoughts and experiences on this as well.
My view while running at Loch Raven Reservoir…
Next weekend I’ll likely stick with the same distance. It is awfully tempting to go longer, but I’m trying hard to be patient and train properly in order to stay healthy and avoid injury. I’ve been using My Macros+ to track my diet and my body measurements are slowly creeping down. I’m trying to be patient with that, too!
If you’re in the Baltimore area and interested in very affordable, quality training take a look at the BRRC website. The mid-distance group is training for fall half marathons, and there are trail running and Couch to 5k groups too. This training season is just beginning so there’s still time to join!