This morning was the 12 mile run in preparation for our half marathon. Due to an unexpected twist I had the unique opportunity to have a little experiment in grit.
Something I’ve messed around with a bit is following the Maffetone running method in which you focus on keeping your heart rate at a certain level, 180 minus your age. The concept is based on keeping your body in a fat burning zone as opposed to burning other fuel. Long story short, the more you work at it the faster you go and the longer distances you can go because our bodies have way more fat than other fuel.
It’s pretty difficult to slow down from your normal pace to one that fits the base heart rate of the “Maff Method.” In past runs I’ve struggled to slow down enough to stay there for an extended period of time (trust me, I’m not at all fast – it’s just that much slower to hit the heart rate goal). I can usually hold it for 3-4 miles and then I get bored and just go. Today I decided to see if I could keep my heart rate within 3 beats per minute of my 138 goal. It was pretty difficult, but I was able to make it for the most part (hills got me just above 141 a couple of times). All totaled my average was almost exactly 138 for all 12 miles. There was something about keeping myself disciplined to that rate that was both tedious and frustrating, but also gratifying and rewarding.
While I am thankful for the opportunity to experiment today I was also reminded of how thankful I am to run with Becky almost all the time. I really missed having her on the run with me. A side benefit of this heart rate experiment was keeping my mind off of her not running alongside of me. 😥
Speaking of Becky, I was once again thankful for the ability of music to teleport me to awesome places. While running the song “Something Just Like This” came on and I was no longer running on French Island. I was instantly in the Cooper Mini convertible we rented in Grand Cayman. The top was down, the windows were open, and we were just enjoying a ride along the ocean and tropical landscape. There was a suddenly feeling of serenity and peace, it was amazing!!!
To think that that memory and so many others are all locked up in my brain and all I need is the perfect song to unlock them and bring them to the forefront of my brain. Moments like that are something I am thankful for. Yet another wonder of the power of music.