I apparently have to change up my standard neighborhood running loop. The loop is around 4.45 miles for one lap but due to scooting around portions I can make a clean 13.1 miles from 3 laps.
I have been noticing lately (and it was really apparent this morning) that I am running way slower than I would expect when doing this loop and I am finding it hard to keep motivated when I run it. That was really obvious this morning when I was having trouble staying motivated on what would be the first lap of 3, my speed was way low and I seemed to have no energy. I was actually dreading doing the loop 2 more times after I finished the first one.
So I made the decision to take a longer loop that is a bit over 9 miles to force myself to stay motivated (and to make it harder to stop early!). I haven’t done that route very often since it goes through a local nature park that is quite often not opened early enough for my runs. Lately I have been running a bit later on the weekends but the heat usually makes me stay closer to home in case I run out of liquids.
Part of that longer trail (around a mile) follows the same route as my usual shorter loop but as soon as I was through that section I could actually feel a difference in how I was feeling – both mentally and physically. My speed picked up as did my motivation. I was running faster at the 2 hour mark than what I had been at the 20 minute mark. Definitely a mental barrier there.
In the end this had made me realize I need to map out a new local running route – probably something around 4.5 miles long.
On the positive side today part of my run was on the Thundering Bison Trail – a strangely appropriate description of my running style I think. “Giant hairy beast stomping across the prairies” Or something like that…