Friday, October 14, 2011

The Difference Between Short and Long Runs!

Hello everyone,

Happy Friday!

Before I delve into today's topic, I just wanted to let you know that the haunted corn maze I talked about last weekend was legit the scariest halloween/haunted house attraction I have ever been through! I was like legit about to cry in parts. I had a great time, though. Traveling to a small Vermont town, going out to dinner, and completing a fall-ish touristy activity with two of my best friends was a great way to spend a Saturday night.

Anyways, this morning I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts on how the distance of the run affects my perception of it....if that makes any sense at all...??? I hope it does.

Basically, I classify my runs into two categories: 1) Short runs 2) Long runs.

While my definitions of short and long runs have changed as I've become a better runner and dedicated my self to long distance running, I currently consider a short run to be between 3-5 miles and a long run is anything over 7 miles. So far, I have run up to 13 miles, so I guess a long run is currently between 7-13 miles. I know I left out 6 miles, but I'm not really sure in what category to place it. Sorry 6...I don't mean to make you feel excluded.

Anyways, when I plan a short run into my schedule, I really don't stress about it much. I think about a time I'm going to do it (usually in the morning) and never doubt my abilities to complete the run or dread it. I know I can crank a short run out in around 30 minutes, so it's no big deal in my mind. However, when ever I have a run on my schedule that is over 7 miles, I put so much mental energy into just thinking about it. In other words, I worry about it. I think things like.... Oh, I better go to bed early, so I can get up early and have time to mentally prepare myself for my long run. I better not plan anything in the hours immediately after my run because what if I can't finish it, I have to walk, and it takes me longer??? The worrying never ends.

Okay, this is where things get a little complicated. At least I don't understand it...

Although I worry about long runs and not short runs, I actually enjoy long runs a lot more. Well, the first few miles of any long run sucks, but after I get over that initial hump, I often feel like I can run forever. I also clear my head, get into a rhythm, and just experience a true sense of freedom. When I ran my 13 mile run a couple weeks ago, I was literally shouting out loud in glee (I'm not kidding) between the miles of 10 and 13. In other words, I rarely don't enjoy a long run.

However, I almost never enjoy short runs while I am running them. Once they are over, I'm glad to say I did them and feel good, but during the actual run itself, I'm constantly checking my milage and the time on my watch, wondering when my run is going to be over. I never get into a rhythm into these runs.

So, I'm not really sure where I am going with this....I guess I'm just confused as to why I dread long runs so much when I actually really love them! I should look forward to these runs and not fear and worry about them.

What are your thoughts on this? What's your relationship with short and long runs? 
Any ideas to deal with run anxiety? 
What are you doing this weekend?

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