The Run Less Run Faster Experiment – Week 3

#Runnerselfie in front of one of the houses I grew up in.
#Runnerselfie in front of one of the houses I grew up in.

This week’s recap is going to be somewhat NRR. NRR is speak for a non-running related topic on their world famous message boards. My NRR is on aging. Friends, help me out. When I turned thirty last year, nothing really felt that different. I didn’t feel old. I didn’t feel tired. I didn’t feel achy. I felt like I did the day before when I was 29.

Enter 31. Back in February, I grew another year older. My first year as a 30-year-old turned out to be a wild one with many twists and turns and changes. I didn’t start to feel the effects of those changes as they relate to my age until recently. Lately, it’s been hitting me hard. I’ve become nostalgic, which includes dreaming about old houses I grew up in, the grade school I attended, and old neighborhoods. It has finally hit me thatย crap, life goes fast! I have found myself feeling sad and missing the good ol’ days, which seem so far away now.

I am throwing the question out there for guidance from those who have turned the pages of their youth: Is this normal?


I have heard numerous times that the 30s can be the most challenging. I am not sure why but I have my guesses. Facing the reality of life is one of them. New relationships begin and some end. You or your friends start to build little families. And with the cycle of life, death seems to hit closer and closer to home. I knew I was reaching a turning point in my life when I received a Ladies Home Journal in the mail with the headline, Look good in your 30s, 40s, and 50s. Sionara Cosmopolitan!

To address these feelings head on, I’ve been looking for ways to honor my youth. This past week I ran in one of my old neighborhoods, the one where I became a runner. My schedule called for an easy 2 mile run at 9:20 pace. I had forgotten the GPS so I measured out 2 miles with my car then parked it in front of the house and went on my way. My first mile was way too fast, almost 8:00 until I slowed down to jog it in for an 8:35. I then kept the rest of the run easy, puzzled at why everything in the town felt so small. What I used to consider a hill was really just an incline. And I guess this is how life goes. As we get older, we see that the things that felt so big when we were younger, weren’t in fact that big. Wisdom prevails. As such, we do not have to lose the spirit of a child when facing new mountains. No, we shall forge on with the same curiosity and hope.

And so, that’s where I’m at. Here’s how the rest of the week played out:

Monday: 20 minutes on the elliptical with a quick strength training session.

Tuesday: 2 miles @ 9:03 pace. Easy pace this week was 9:20. As much as I would like to adhere to the plan, I’m finding it harder to do so. I guess all of this holding back is encouraging.

Wednesday: 15 mile bike ride. I’d love to get a road bike and be clipped in. An old Trek mountain bike will have to do for now as a new bike is not yet in the budget. I am finding that cycling is increasing my overall strength and endurance so I’d like to continue doing it each week instead of only 3-4 times a year. I also did some strength training in the evening.

Thursday: 5 miles with 3 miles at 7:50 pace (I averaged 7:48). This was a great workout for me both mentally and physically. At 1.5 miles, I fought myself with stopping to take a break. Old thoughts of being afraid of pain and not being good enough tempted me but the new voice was stronger. I forged on and finished the tempo feeling strong. I did feel out of shape for most of the run but again that is to be expected.

My run commute fanny pack!
My run commute fanny pack!

Friday: 2 miles @ 9:11 pace. I made this a run commute. I needed to go to the pharmacy and bank. It’s convenient that my grocery store is a one stop shop! I had to walk a bit to keep it at 2 miles which leads me to my first complaint of the experiment: 2 mile runs are not enough! Good news though is that next week calls for easy runs of 3 and 4 miles. Now we’re talking!

Saturday: 60 minutes of pool work. Bought a day pass at a local gym and did some laps and pool running. Much needed aqua therapy!

Sunday: 10 mile long run @ 9:16 pace. Went in the evening after Easter festivities. Great weather, busy trails, and gnats.

Total: 19 miles running, 15 miles biking, 80 minutes of other cross training

Preview of next week: four runs with 1600 meter repeats and 10 mile long run, three days of rest or cross training


For the rest of the Salty Bloggers’ training logs for this week, go here!

I write about mindfulness, mental health, and the professional sport of running with the occasional poking fun at the sport. When I am not running, I'm either helping people as a counselor or trying to make them laugh as an amateur open mic comedian.

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  1. I followed your lead and started the Run Less, Run Faster 10k plan. I really am loving it. I really wish it called for at least one extra day of easy running–but last week I traded a cross training day for a fun run. I always love a good, slow, run chatting with my friends.

    I really love pushing it some each day. I’m not very good about that unless I have a plan. Somedays have felt killer hard and others are the kind of days that remind me why I love running. For example, I kept having to slow it down during my long tempo run last week and it was frustrating me. Finally I said “forget it,” and I just went with what felt easy and comfortable–a no brainer pace. I loved checking my Garmin at the end of the run and seeing my easy pace that day was 10 seconds slower per mile than the prescribed LT pace!

    1. Great to hear, Erin! I have found myself looking forward to the days I am scheduled to run. That type of excitement hasn’t happened in a long time! Good luck with your training. Keep us updated!

  2. You are my second sister! I was totally the same way in the early years of my 30s. I too ran in my old ‘hood and the route felt so short and everything seemed tiny. Funny how that is! I often have these flashes of mortality or that passing sense that time is flying where I picture myself in 40 years feeling exactly the same and wondering how it could be because sometimes I feel like the 5 year old me and wonder how I’m almost 40!

    In other news, it sounds like you’re getting into better shape than you probably thought you would! Can’t wait to find out ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Good, glad I’m not the only one! Kind of figured I wasn’t. My friend has a theory that those of us who had to grow up fast due to life circumstances might be a bit more nostalgic than others.

      Thank you for the encouragement! Sounds like you are, too!

  3. I really relate to how you’re feeling. I turned 30 at the end of March and I was torn between feeling really really sad/nostalgic and excited. I think this is totally normal! I made a choice to embrace my 30s as a time to put into practice all the self-discovery that happened in my 20s (the good, the bad, and the ugly!). I have chosen which mindset I prefer and I will enter this new decade on a happy, excited tone. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

  4. My turning 30 moment hit this past year when I realized I can’t be called anything other than a woman or lady now. I always felt like a girl. No more. Definitely woman. Which, of course, is a great thing to be.

    I agree though, it feels like overnight I changed from that position of half-child/student to an adult. I didn’t think I was letting life slip by, and yet I feel surprised by it.

    But with the aches and pains, here are some positive reminders: less acne, real paychecks, loans are decreasing, staying in real hotels, affording race entries AND food.