Run...for Fun

Why do you run?

There are many reasons we run, and I'm sure we all have more than one. Sometimes it's fun to push ourselves and to focus on faster paces, sometimes we might want to slow it down and enjoy the view. At least from my perspective, sometimes pushing the body hard and staying super focused through a training cycle is a lot for both the mental and physical states.

I've been thinking about this a lot post-SF half marathon. I have strictly followed training plans before especially for my first couple of half marathons and marathons, but I've never been as focused as this. I'd never run as many days per week or pinpointed specific paces to hit for each workout. I set my goal of getting the half PR, sub-2:05 for SF, and I did it. The focus worked and it all paid off, and I couldn't be happier!

But now what? I'm giving myself a little break. Not from running, just from such a strong pace focus and from track workouts. I've been having trouble 'letting' myself think this is ok and wanted to keep pushing myself in focused workouts for that sub-2 hour half by end of year, but I also long for the fun runs where I sit back and enjoy the outdoors. I've decided that's what the summer will be all about.

As you may have read, I followed the Hanson half marathon plan to my abilities for the SF half marathon. The plan is great and most definitely got me into shape for the PR. When I was finishing the half and my muscles felt tired from the pace, I also realized they didn't feel as tired as they did pre-taper from the cumulative fatigue. Win for the Hanson plan! I liked using it for the half, although for CIM training I'm leaning toward using aspects of the Hanson plan (longish recovery runs on tired legs, running more days per week) mixed in with my usual group speedwork and not as high of a mileage peak. Based on my experience with the half training plan, I'm not feeling like I can hit the Hanson marathon plan mileage totals comfortably and safely at least for now. I know my body and what will keep it happier while training for a marathon.

Back to the summer plans. I've immensely enjoyed NOT USING THE GARMIN to track paces during the run this week and instead letting myself run by feel. Even if I wear a normal watch and have an idea of how far I've gone, I tend not to calculate paces in my head and just grab the totals at the end. Very freeing. Fun.

I'm planning to run the Jungle Run half in Los Gatos on July 14 thanks to a free entry from volunteering, and I won't be using the Garmin then either. It will be all run by feel, and my finish time is what it is. No pressure to worry about pace, no goals other than to enjoy the event. I'm looking forward to my first trail 25K at the end of August and am excited for Ragnar NWP with a bunch of Oiselle ladies in July. Summer fun running here I come!

This post is all about having fun, so check out these fun highlights from the past week!

My first barrel tasting!

Dining in the vineyard for the Casa Nuestra wine maker dinner.

 Trail running in Bothe Napa State Park.

Complete with (multiple) stream crossings.

And last but not least, our first ever trip to Russian River Brewing!


  1. I am getting ready to start Hansons in a few weeks for a half in December. I am pretty excited for it because I have heard some great things and I am just ready for some training variation. I am also hoping for a sub 2:00 in December, but am enjoying some easy summer running. Good luck and happy training!

    1. Good luck on your sub-2 half! Hansons will definitely help you. :)

  2. My coworker was talking to me about the SF half. I want to do it next year for sure!! I understand taking a break or running without a gps. I did that today and it doesn't happen often. It happened because I had to pause my gps on my phone and it never started again, but it was nice not dwelling on how fast I was going. BTW, it was lik 85 degrees!

    1. Yes it was so hot here the last couple of weeks too! Haha. Gotta love it, we are hitting 90s. Highly recommend SF half!

  3. Always good to take a little break every now and then. Glad you have set up a plan for a great and fun summer! I've really been wanting to try getting out to Russian River brewing... what did you think?

    1. I loved Russian River - but I've been a fan of their beer anyway. Definitely worth checking it out!

  4. I had a similar experience after focusing so hard on beating my 5k PR. I was pretty exhausted from such a rigorous training plan that running didn't seem as enjoyable anymore. So I gave myself a break, did follow the plan of my trainer for a couple weeks and just did whatever I wanted. It was a mental break I really needed to get back into a mindset that is refreshed to hit the road again!


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