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Let It Come Out of You

Fridays are always my favorite day of the workout week, because:

1) it’s Friday (duh);

2) I wake up at a ridiculous hour and have a long drive of peace and quiet before arriving at the gym;

3) it’s the Coach Monster spin class, which is more pain on a stationary bike than you can imagine (it rocks); and

4) Friday is the one day of the week I eat out for breakfast–Einstein’s Bagels (I get the egg white on thin wheat with asparagus and mushrooms, 270 calories and super yums with a giant coffee). It’s a Friday treat.

Anyway, for almost two years, I would just go to spin class. But now, in Ironman training, I will do all sorts of schenanigans—swim first, run after, strength training, core—whatever.  It’s never “just” the spin class anymore. And that’s cool.

And today the Monster had me doing a crazy workout today.  Run first.  Spin.  Then run again.  Alrighty then.

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Saucony recently sent me these fancy Viratta shoes to try (in photo; full review to come soon).

And while gals of my size may not always do great in zero-drop minimalist shoes, I thought I’d try them out for just the two miles before spin.  And I loved them. I’m not sure I could run more than 3-4 miles in them, just because of my weight and the need for cushion… but I felt great. I counted, and my foot turnover was actually 178-180, which was much faster than I usually do.  I usually am stuck in no-man’s foot turnover land of 155-160…  Also, I ran the first mile at a 11:00 pace, then the second at a 9:30 pace. Also faster than normal.

So, as I walked into spin, Coach M asked, “How was the run?”

And he noticed my new shoes.  So we talked about the smarts of incorporating the minimalist shoes into my training (go slowly, only on short runs, best on treadmill for someone of my size).

Then I told him that it was nice to run in the shoes because I felt like I could “feel” how I was running for the first time… I do not have a large history of running, not a lot of muscle memory surrounding it. So it was interesting to feel my feet… if that makes sense at all.

Anyway, this post is actually NOT about the shoes or the transition to minimalist shoes…

… rather, it’s about one phrase that Coach M said to me.

After class, I put on my regular stability running shoes and headed back to the treadmill.  As I walked past Coach M, he said to go easy on the run… and to not force anything. He says that often, but I must have looked at him weird. So he went on…

“Run easy. Don’t force it. Let it come out of you. Let the run come out of you.

I had never thought of it that way. Yes, I’ve heard of all the mind-body-running, running by “feel,” running with soul, Born to Run—I’ve read all the books, and it never resounded with me personally.

Today it did.  So as I suffered through a final three miles after a hard spin class, I tried to let the run out, to just be… and it was a tiny little revelation for yet another day of moving towards Ironman.

As I look back on the “great” runs I’ve had over the past two years, I can attribute the good ones to days when I just ran…no matter how slow I was going… I just was.  I just ran.   

19 Comments

  • Carie Vercelli

    February 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    You look great btw! I love this post & hope as I run my first half next weekend with my Nasty ITband that I can remember this and it’ll make my run so much better & bearable! Thank you.

    Reply
  • Lisa Serrano

    February 22, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    “As I look back on the “great” runs I’ve had over the past two years, I can attribute the good ones to days when I just ran…no matter how slow I was going… I just was. I just ran.” SBM…didn’t realize really that is how I ran 3 half marathons in 3 days. I just let it go at whatever speed my body wanted. It has been my favorite 39 miles! I have been trying to let it go on all my long ride/run bricks now because this will be how I get through Oceanside 56/13 without stopping. Find a zen rhythm and let it go and it feels like you are free…

    Reply
  • Phil

    February 22, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    I had (what I think) was an out of body experience while running once. I was about 5 miles into it when I had a weird feeling and had to ask myself, “Am I alive or dead, because I don’t feel anything.” As I settled into that feeling (I didn’t want to disturb it) I came to the realization that everything in life was beautiful with or without me and that I was priveleged to take part in this collective existence of ours. It was a strange moment I will never forget. So, YES, just let the run out!

    Reply
  • Sarah F

    February 22, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    You are looking fantabo! And happy! And those runs are the very best runs. I usually notice it midway through that everything is just happening and I am just there. It’s fantastic. Enjoy!

    Reply
  • Vicki

    February 22, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Love this blog. This reiterates what my trainer told me earlier this week. I am doing a sprint triathlon tomorrow and I am no where ready for it. After falling off the fitness wagon hard. I started reading your book a few weeks ago and decided to sign up for a sprint triathlon. My trainer told me to find a cruzing speed and just go with it, that my goal right now is to just finish not to try and compete. So as long as I don’t drown tomorrow the biking and running will be at cruzing speeds and just let it be.

    Reply
  • Julie

    February 22, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    you look simply AMAZING. love your journey. i’m a single mom of 3 boys under age 9, and i do 1/2 marathons and oly tri’s. i LOVE reading your blog! you go girl!

    Reply
  • Jessica

    February 22, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Love this. I’m going to try it on my next run! Often I feel like I’m forcing my running (and my swimming and biking for that matter). Next workout I’m just gonna let it come out of me!

    Reply
  • Txcristen

    February 22, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I can so relate to “let it come out of you” with running. I’m not a fast runner and never will be but my best runs are when I’m not forcing it. I just finished the hilly Austin Half-Marathon in 2:33 last Sunday and I 9/1’d it most of the time and all of my running-9s were flowy, calm and wonderful. I even had to force myself to stop for my 1-min walks (to save my legs for the last 3 miles of UPHILL CRAZY), because it felt so good to be running. It was AH-MAH-ZING!

    Reply

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