Of course it’s all relative.  What seems “long” to me now is probably like a short walk in the park for a lot of others.  Other runners, that is.  Last week, I had lunch with a friend. When I told her I’d run a bit over 7 miles that morning, she said “that sounds far.” So did my husband, when I’d told him the route I’d run.  To me, I felt like it was short, compared to all the tweets and blogs I read, where people are getting out there and doing 16 or more (hell, anything over 7 qualifies.)  It makes me think back to 2007 when I’d done all those long runs in the summer while training for the Maine Marathon. Back then, 3 sounded so short. Hell, 8 sounded short. I still look back in amazement, and think “did I really do that? 26.2? In one day? The same day I started?”

Not having a long(ish) race yet picked out on the horizon, it is hard for me to rationalize getting out there and doing more than say, 6 or 7 on the weekends.  I know, I know, for a 10K, I should be running about 8 on the weekends. But again, not so many of those even on the horizon. Yes, I live outside of Boston, which is definitely a running/walking city, but the 10Ks don’t happen every weekend. 5Ks, pretty much, yes, but not the longer races all the time.

Let’s be honest. I would much prefer to do longer runs over the spring and summertime than I would here in the winter.  It’s much easier to sweat and lose layers as needed, than to sweat and then feel colder because the sweat gets cold. Honestly, it can be kind of miserable. Yes, I had the option to run with some folks from MVS yesterday morning at 8 a.m. but that would have meant a 30 minute drive to meet them, and I just wanted to sleep in on Saturday since I have to work today, and on the holiday.

Anyway, a weird thing happened yesterday. The weather hit 45 degrees here.  Beautiful and sunny. You think I could get myself out there to run? Nah. Went to the gym instead.  After much thought, I figured out why.  Two reasons.  One.  The idea of doing a “long” run two weeks in a row just made me want to say “Ugh.”   Last week I did 7 miles because it was something I hadn’t done in a while. So it was new. (It is no longer new, when done two weeks in a row.) And when it’s nice out? Yet still cool? I don’t know how to dress for that anymore!  🙂  No, really.  Call it short-term memory loss.  I’m all good with dressing for frigidly cold weather now, even for running in it. But dressing for semi-nice running weather, where I might need fleece to start with, but not end with? Too difficult for me to choose!

So there I was – literally all dressed – hat/headband: check; Garmin: check; Road ID: check; long tights: check; two layers on top, getting the third out: check; iPod (with playlists still erased, ugh again): check.  And then I decided not to go. My husband looked at me and said “if  you don’t want to go, then don’t. You won’t enjoy it anyway.”  So I didn’t. I rationalized, I’d run 5 miles the day before at a good clip (average: 9:16 pace) so today I could just ride the bike.

And, so I did. All 18 miles a hill workout, I rode the bike, while reading a great book, The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. It’s a book told from a dog’s point of view. Absolutely hysterical, and also really sad, at parts. I highly recommend it!

The Art of Racing in the Rain (photo from Amazon.com)

Don’t you love it when two things you love come together? (For me, that’s reading and exercise.) By the way, I’m noticing I can now put the bike on Level 6, and it doesn’t seem like I am working too hard. But I digress…

Tonight we’re supposed to get rain, then rain mixed with snow, then snow tomorrow morning. And you know what? I’m excited to run in it if I have time (read: not too much shoveling to do) before heading out to work on the Martin Luther King holiday. (Yeah, kinda sucks I am working, but this way I get a comp day to take on Friday!)

Does this make me strange?   Well, at least it won’t be considered “long” even if I can find time to get in 4-5 miles. I just want to make sure that I retain the fun in running, you know?

Hope you are all enjoying a good, fun holiday weekend.