Monday, June 9, 2014

Long run motivation

Napping was at the top of the list of what I wanted to do this morning. Going for a long run was much farther down the list. I mean, I love being a runner, and I love the feeling of satisfaction that comes with a good running workout, but sometimes I have to motivate myself to go for a run.

This is apparently common for runners.

One way to get myself up for a long run is to go to the gym, get on the treadmill, start streaming my latest binge-watching obsession, and press "Start." However, while "The Wire" is good, it just hasn't been as compulsively addictive for me as, say, "The Shield" or "Justified." Plus, the weather outside looked divine for running: temperature in the low 60s, lots of cloud cover with isolated patches of blue sky, just a gentle breeze for circulation.

So I followed the suggestion of putting on running clothes: light blue Patagonia wool/polyester blend tech shirt, black tech shorts, and merino wool socks, SPF 50 sunblock.*

* I dislike putting on sunblock, because I've read that oxybenzone - the primary ingredient in many sunblocks - is pretty nasty stuff. I go out of my way to buy sunblocks that rely on physical barriers, as opposed to chemical ones, meaning either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Physical barrier sunblocks are apt to leave white streaks and they're not that easy to clean off, even in the shower; often I have to scrape a bunch of it off.

It did get me closer to the door, which got me close to my running shoes, which I put on. All that was left was headphones and firing up the Audible app on my smartphone (I'm about halfway through Peter Hamilton's Pandora's Star right now) and then my trusty companion RunKeeper.

A good audiobook makes a big difference for me. When I run races, I don't listen to anything except RunKeeper's periodic audio cues about time, distance, and average pace. When I do speed workouts, I sometimes don't listen to anything. But when I go on long runs, I like to listen to audiobooks (or music, but I prefer audiobooks). I've discovered that some books I liked in print make not so good audiobooks, and other books I liked in print make really good audiobooks. I'm not sure why, exactly. It's tempting to blame (or credit) the narrator, but I don't think that's it. I like David Baldacci's thrillers, but when I listened to The Whole Truth, I found that a lot of the writing seemed corny in a way that didn't appear that way on the printed page. Pandora's Star, on the other hand, has been crackling good, even though I've already read it before and hence shouldn't be surprised about anything.

Anyway, 11.25 miles later, I was done running. It had been a mild day, mostly cloudy with isolated patches of blue skies, and temperatures in the low 60s. Really a perfect day for running. Long run of the week in the books. Glad I got out there, even if napping is so awesome.

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