Today is Saturday, and Saturday is the day I usually do my longest run of the week. Recently I have been rethinking my routine as I ponder what I want for my exercise life in the new year. Last night in bed I wasn’t sure how long today’s run would be or if I even was going to run.
However, when I woke up today I knew I wanted to run (there was a reprieve from the rain and that helped). On a whim, I decided to bring my swimming bag thinking I’d run straight to the pool afterward. After all, it has straps so I can wear it on my back. This backfired. The bag is not made to be used while running, which I found out as it jostled around awkwardly on my back. I tried carrying it in front of my chest but that wasn’t much better, since the bag’s strap pinched against my neck and I had to use my arms to hold it in place.
Despite the challenge of carrying the swimming bag, I felt great overall about the run, which ended up being eight miles. At the gym, I swam a half mile (or specifically thirty-four laps in the twenty-five meter pool). I have been feeling like a badass about my swimming lately, not because I actually am one but because I am getting better at it. Yesterday I went to the pool early and also swam a half-mile. Swimming thirty minutes is still a big deal and I’m excited that it’s getting easier.
Back to running. Last July, I noted that I hadn’t run ten or more miles in the first seven months of the year at all. Here’s an update of that table to include the rest of the year:
|# Long Runs
|Ran my first three 20 milers
|Ran two marathons (solo and CIM 2021)
|Wisely got off running treadmill (eventually), didn’t run all of December, still managed second most miles of any year.
|Long runs between 10 and 13 miles starting in August, including two half marathon distances.
I ended up doing ten runs of ten or more miles in 2023, all in the final five months. This is less than half of what I did in each of the previous three years. I’m happy about that! Last year was magnificent because it was mellow and needed to be.
In 2024 I plan to keep doing long runs and even extend them. I have no plans to do a marathon, but we’ll see where I’m at later in the year.* Meanwhile, I am enjoying leaning into swimming and also doing yoga. I plan to stay active and enjoy myself. The most important thing to me is to keep reaching for satisfaction. As long as I’m doing that, I’m doing something right 🙂