I’ve had some terrible runs lately. Really terrible. I was meant to do a long run last Sunday. It didn’t happen. My dog had to go to the vet on Monday. Long story short, he ended up wearing a cone, and feeling very needy. I’m one of ‘those’ people. No, I don’t dress him up. I don’t walk him in a baby stroller. But he is my fur-baby. So, I didn’t run Monday (after the vet) or Tuesday. I couldn’t leave him alone, so I was housebound for those days.
Finally, on Wednesday I went out for a quick run. 3 miles, that’s all I was planning. Oh my gosh. It hurt. My legs felt like they couldn’t move. My feet felt really strange hitting the ground, like my ankles were not sure what they were supposed to do. Yuck. I felt sick at the end of the run, like I had just run the hardest 3 miles of my life, instead of keeping it easy in the mid 10min/mile range. I thought, maybe it’s because I hadn’t run the last couple of days. Maybe my body just needs to adjust a little.
The next day, Thursday, I went out again. I thought about doing 5 miles, but it was the same as the day before. Hard. Just plain hard. I pushed myself to the 2 mile turn around point, and slowly went back home. I felt like I had run the hardest run of my life. It felt so tough. Again, the legs just were not working. Maybe I am still not recovered from my last marathon? Is this just my body saying ‘slow down – I don’t want to work’. The strangest part of it all is I feel fine during the day. No aches, no pains. (It is my time of the month – maybe that’s why? TMI?)
Anyway, this brings us to today, Friday. I went out thinking let’s do 5 miles, just really easy. I was expecting it to be really tough, just like the last two days. I figured, if I try to go nice and easy, even doing 12 min/miles is fine, but it will make me realize what I can do during the last few miles of a marathon. Just get out and put in the miles.
By the time I reached the first 0.5 mile marker I knew it was different. I felt good! My ankles felt connected to my feet. My legs didn’t feel heavy. It was decided, if I still feel good at the 1 mile mark, let’s make it a tempo run. I continued feeling good! I decided to continue with the 5 miles I had scheduled, and make 3 of them at tempo pace (which I wanted around a 9:30min/mile). When my third mile beeped a ‘9:08min/mile pace’ I decided to keep it up, and run that last mile to make it a 4 mile tempo. I pushed a little, but not too much, and it felt so good. I felt like I could have definitely added in a few more miles at that pace. But, I didn’t want to push it, I wanted to feel good during the whole time during this run.
I’m not sure what happened. Maybe it was the mid-afternoon Starbucks? Maybe the few strength exercises and foam rolling I did before the run? Who knows? I keep meaning to add in the strength exercises/warm ups before my run, so I think I’ll be trying that for a while.
I’m just so happy this felt good!