Today is easily the coldest day so far this fall. I’d signed up for a fun run hosted by Saucony (the regional Saucony rep brought shoes to take for a test run) and Potomac River Running held at Lake Fairfax Park. I started the run with the 90-minute group, but I lost them at the turnaround. Everybody else turned around where they were and instead I decided to run the 50-ish uphill yards to the point where the front of the group turned around. Big mistake, as I went from the front half of the pack to second-to-last in the group. I quickly lost sight of the people in front of me and when I got to a road crossing near the parking lot which was a 4-6-way intersection, I had no idea which way they’d gone. So I made my own way. I chose a path that took me back to where my group started. After a few minutes I linked up with the 60-minute group and ran back to the parking lot with them. My legs felt pretty tired, but I tacked on a few more minutes to push my total mileage for the outing above six — the mileage I’d prescribed myself in my training plan.
I’m glad that I didn’t go for the full 90-minutes. Targeting that group was really a matter of pride. When I’m running a shorter event at a race that offers multiple distances, I sometimes feel like I’m not doing enough, not trying as hard as I can. Part of the discipline of training is sticking with the mileage/workout that’s right for me at the right time, not just hacking through something because I’m physically capable of surviving it.
My trail running club has a casual 25+ mile run on its calendar for Black Friday. It seems like all of the club runs are for ultrarunners. Since I’m just a wannabe right now, it’s a little intimidating and is keeping me from being as involved as I’d like to be. I’ve been thinking about doing the Black Friday run in order to meet some other members, but a 25-mile trek doesn’t fit with my training schedule for next week. The smartest thing for my training would probably be to not participate in the run. I suffer from a pretty debilitating case of runner’s FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) — witness my eight race weekends in a row from earlier this fall — so saying no to something that interests me is a big step in the direction of running discipline.