New Thing #264: Running To Time

RunningI've written a few times before about the running I did this summer. And there's kind of a lull in Trying New Things right now, so let me tell you about what I did with my running this summer that was new.

(You'll notice the dates from the screengrab I did of my Nike app there are from mid-August. As I suspected would happen, once September hit my running regimen was severely impacted.)

The best thing I did this summer was change the way I run - instead of running for distance, I ran for time.

I've been running for a while - but in the past couple of years it had become a little more of a struggle.

Not that it became any more difficult really (outside of one injury where I think for one summer I couldn't run at all) - it just became really, really boring.

I had a path that I ran over and over. At most it would take me 3 miles...but often I would decide to pull up short and cut it after a mile and a half or two miles or so.

I had nothing holding me accountable for anything longer than that.

I don't know why it took me so long to do it, but this summer I decided to start with a 30 minute run and then just keep adding time. I went from 30 to 35, then 40. (I run roughly a 10-minute mile, so we're talking up to 4 miles or so.)

I stuck at 40 for a bit, then started pushing myself to distances I'd never reached before - up to 5 miles, and then that 6-and-a-quarter-mile run you see in that picture above.

Unfortunately, that was the high-water mark. That was August 13. Shortly afterward, I went to Florida, then back to school, and I haven't had the time to run that much since. I was hoping to write about this as a New Thing when I was consistently up over 6-mile runs.

It's really hard to find an hour when it's not dark where I can get a good run in like that these days.

If I get out I'll go a couple of miles at a quicker pace to feel like I'm doing something...but I know what it felt like over the summer when I was doing these long runs and it's not really the same.

Fall into winter is always a tough time to keep up the good work I do running in the summer.

This year it feels like a particularly tough dropoff.

But you can bet that as soon as the weather is passable - or I get a few extra hours on the weekends - I'll work to build up my stamina again.

Because now I know how to do it.