Sunday, April 25, 2010

Is less really more?

I had my GPS all set and ready to take me to the Tidal Basin to meet my Team Challenge group. We had an hour and a half run scheduled, and since I haven’t actually run with them yet, and the Cherry Blossom is over, it would be the perfect weekend to finally meet the whole team.

However, this location is not easy to find. And I’ve only ever taken the Metro there-I’ve never driven.


I could SEE it, but I could get there without jumping over the median or something. You see where it says Maine Avenue? Well, the meeting spot is supposed to be right off of that street. It’s actually where the big P for Parking is.  But it’s a 2 lane, one-way road that takes you around in circles, so there was no real way to get to that parking spot. I drove around in circles for about 15 minutes before I accidentally ended up on the highway going south back to Alexandria. Screw it, I thought- I guess I’m just running at home….and now I’m just annoyed.

I decided to run by feeling. I wore my Garmin simply for mile tracking purposes, but I made it a point to just RUN and not worry about time. And since the watch beeps at every mile, I knew how far I was going.

I was running at what I thought was a pretty slow pace, but my legs were on fire. I kept wondering why I felt so tired-and why the hell am I breathing so hard? OK, I’ll just slow down. Here comes a hill-I’ll just jog up that hill. No worries, just run.

After the third “Beep,” I decided to turn around. 6 miles will be fine. Remember, I took most of this entire week off so I didn’t want to push it TOO much. So I turned around and made my way back home. The last 1/4 of a mile or so of the route back is uphill and I was honestly dreading it. I thought – there’s no WAY I’m making it up that freakin hill. I slowed down and took a quick walk break before making my way back up the hill, and then I dragged my ass up. Finally, the top of the hill came and my run was over. 

And when I looked at my Garmin and saw that I just ran 6 miles in just under 53 minutes, and I almost crapped myself.

I looked at it and thought, there’s no WAY I was running that fast. I literally did the whole, “Is this thing ON? Can this possibly be right? Did I really just run 6 miles in 52:58 ? How the hell did I do that?”

Mile 1: 8:42
Mile 2: 8:10
Mile 3: 8:11
Mile 4: 8:08
Mile 5: 8:23
Mile 6: 9:47 (with walk break and up the hill)

How the hell? Did taking that time off really help improve my time by that much?

So there you have it. Taking the week off from running worked. What does this mean? That my dear HEAB and miss Polly must be right: Less is more. Do I need to workout 6 days a week? Do I need to run 5 days a week and clock every damn workout I do to make sure I’m in the best shape for my 1/2 marathon or any other race I run? Do I have to be tired and cranky and be pissed off when I miss a workout? Well if this is not a fluke, then obviously not.

What does this mean? I haven’t figured it out yet. I’m not sure exactly what to take out of this, but one thing’s for sure-I don’t want to screw it up. Let’s see what next week brings me.


  1. oh MY that is a speedy run :) Great work!!!!

  2. Great job on the run! I totally agree with the less is more. At CB, I was about a minute off my PR even though I trained way less than last year & took time off to heal from that pesky injury. I credit my time to the cross training I've been doing!