There's Nothing Like...

an awesome run

to put you in a good mood!
This is "runner's high clip art" from Google Images, I'm that random.  (source)
I don't know what it is, but lately my runs have not been giving me that amazing, accomplished, I'm awesome feeling.  Of course not every run is going to do that, but I've been in a bit of a rut, having a bunch of these so-so runs for the past couple weeks.

It's not fair, I just want to go for a decent run!!!  (source)
Let me back up a little bit.  I have some ideas of what could be contributing to my lack luster runs.  Numero uno being NJ humidity and heat!  I am so not used to these running conditions.  By the end of a 5 mile run I'm all sweated out, with no energy left to give.  Not a good feeling when I was going out for easy 10-milers at the beach the last few weeks I was in San Diego!

Lovely, just lovely. (source)
Number two would be not fueling properly.  I'm on a new schedule, currently unemployed and I'm not about to wake up at 5 a.m. if I don't have to.  So if I eat dinner at 7, go to bed and wake up at 7 (I actually wake up later!)  that's 12 hours with no food and although I may have some glycogen stores in my body, it's not enough if I'm planning longer than a 2 mile run.  No wonder I'm hitting a "wall" at the end of a 5 mile run and cutting runs short!

Everything I've ever learned about fueling properly, I learned from this book. It gives you the science of how to fuel your body, must read! ::wink, wink::  (source)

And finally, I'm playing on a co-ed softball league with Shane and some friends.  Although it's not the MOST physically demanding, I know my body just isn't used to that all out short running to bases with little warm up and softball in general.  And I got knocked in the shin with a bouncy ball, ow!

Okay so now that I've identified possible problem areas, let's fast forward to Monday's run.  

Serious awesome-sauce!  It was like everything was just right.  It actually started off with me being lazy.  I was so discouraged with my past few runs I didn't even want to go outside and attempt another one.  So I made myself my usual b-fast, made some coffee and chilled out for about 45 minutes.  But then I started to get antsy and bargained with myself to go for an easy paced 4.5 miles.

As I stepped outside I noticed something was missing.  The humidity!  It was a gorgeous day, not too hot, and it didn't feel like I was wearing a wet blanket!  Well I started out along my usual route and after about a mile I really started to find my running groove.  I felt rested, fueled, and wasn't a sweaty mess!

As I approached the turn around spot for 4.5 miles I told myself, "Go ahead.  Go a little further today.  What's up this road anyway?"  As this is my boyfriend's neck of the woods (we're literally in the woods) I genuinely didn't know what was beyond my turn-around.  So I went for it.  And it was fantastic!  It was a great route with lots of tree cover and flat, flat, flat!

I payed attention to time, knowing I shouldn't go more than 8 miles since I didn't want to increase my mileage too fast.  So I headed for home and even had the energy to sprint as soon as the house was in sight.

Ahhh, running bliss.  Monday's run truly boosted back my confidence and I'm looking forward to getting out and hitting the road.  I  have some races in mind for fall and a running goal that I want to share so I push myself to achieve it.  I'm not officially in training mode yet, right now I'm just running and building a base for when training begins in a few weeks!

Have you ever found yourself in a running (or any type of workout) funk?  What did it take to get you out of it?

When do you run?  Do you always eat a pre-workout meal or snack?

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