I'm curious as to how you log your miles -- is it total miles, regardless as to whether you ran them start to finish without stopping? Or do you only count the consecutive miles run? Personally, I guess short walk breaks COULD be considered part of a run (but, for me, I discount them as my total mileage run), but stopping to check email, drink water, etc.? I guess I would look at that as STOPPING. So, I could in good conscience say I ran several shorter mileage runs that equaled a total of 15 miles throughout the day. But, that is me. I am more of a black and white thinker and am hard on myself. I'm wondering if there is a "kinder" way to evaluate running performance, which it sounds like you do.
First of all, thanks for asking the question. I think of my runs as short (anything 7 miles or less), medium (8 to 12 miles) and long (13 miles or more). On short runs I only stop at red lights. On medium runs I usually plan to run by a drinking fountain (if there's a bathroom there, that's a plus!) and will stop for a minute or two. On longer runs, I will stop about every hour to eat an energy gel and have some water and kind of "reset" my brain.
So do I still count the miles I've covered, regardless of stopping? Absolutely! I can think of a few reasons why I choose this "kinder" way to log training miles:
- Knowing I can stop helps to get me out the door on days when I really don't want to run. This is a biggie when you're running 40 - 50 miles per week!
- Time on my feet is the point of my training these days, regardless of stops. In the training materials for the American River 50, they recommend a run/walk strategy for the entire race of run 20 minutes walk 5 minutes. And they count that as running!
- Stopping on training runs was how I did my long runs for the marathon. Did I stop while running the marathon? No! Would the marathon have been "easier" if I'd pushed myself harder on the long training runs? Of course! But it worked for me.
Finally, I really understand black and white thinking and being hard on yourself, as that's the land I've lived in for most of my life. I've worked very hard to find some "middles" and that's made life more fun and much easier. Years ago I was seeing a counselor who was talking to me about this very issue. She asked me if I knew what lived in between the colors black and white, and as I was angry at the time, I snapped back "Yeah, grey and I HATE grey! It's the worst color there is!" She gently replied "Actually, no. In between black and white is where all the colors in the rainbow live." I was stunned and speechless. You mean that something beautiful lives in the middle spaces? I've played with that idea in my mind for years.
Today I'm running 12. Will I stop? You betcha! But I won't be checking my email until after the run. ;) Thanks for taking the time to comment and ask the question.