By: Nicole Cesare for Philadelphia Runner
I have heard tell that there are some runners who leap out of bed before the sun, run as far and as fast as they can with grins on their faces, and then do it all again the next day.
I am not that runner.
I do really enjoy running...once I'm done. Sometimes, if I'm lucky, I enjoy it while I'm doing it. But getting up and out is usually a battle of wills between my bed self and my better self.
Now that we're 9 weeks out from Broad Street, the registration in hand and training underway, it's a little easier to get motivated. But through the winter, I had to resort to one of my go-to tricks to get out there. And I needed to get out there, because due to a combination of injury and circumstance, the last few years haven't been my best. I haven't done more than a 10K race since 2014.
So, this fall and winter, I worked on slowly and steadily increasing my mileage so that I'd be ready for training. And the best way I know to get myself out the door is to run somewhere new or notable. If I'm excited to see something different or have a unique experience, I just might run with a smile on my face. (Grins are reserved for finishing races.)
Here are a few of my favorite "new or notable" runs from the last few months:
-Over the Ben Franklin Bridge on a blustery January day. Running toward Camden, I felt great! Then I turned around and realized that the reason I felt great was that the wind had been at my back. The return to the Philly side was much tougher. But I love checking out the skyline and challenging myself on the gradual incline of the bridge.
-Along the newest stretch of the Schuylkill River trail, from South Street down to Christian. It's still in “soft open," mode, and I'm eager to see how it looks later this spring.
-Down to the stadiums the weekend of the NFC championship. I stopped to grab a picture of the greased light poles that were all over the news that weekend, and appreciate the incomparable Philly fans.
-And keeping with the football theme, by far my favorite run this winter was on the day of the Superbowl Parade. I laced up before the celebrations started and ran down the parade route on Broad Street in South Philly. The fans that had been out in the cold for hours were so bored that they cheered me on and gave me high fives. Talk about motivating! I highly recommend this approach, should you ever find yourself near a parade route.
Now that the countdown has officially started, I'll be following a 3 runs per week training plan, with two days of cross-training and some dedicated stretching and strength work. I'll do one easy run, one speed workout, and a long run on the weekends. My plan is to work my way up to 10 or 11 miles with a few stepback weeks. In the past, I've mostly done 4 run per week training plans, but my schedule and commute this spring makes that difficult. So, we'll see how this goes!
Next week, I'll share my goal for this year, and my biggest fear.