A 5 MILE JOURNEY // SUNDAY FUNDAY
I knew it was a terrible idea to go nearly 48 hours without stretching. But, I truly thought that I could get away with it.
Like, I was sitting on the couch at 7 pm last night watching the Hawkeye football game thinking to myself, now really would be the perfect time to stretch, especially since I went on a hilly 3 mile walk yesterday for my rest day workout. But, no. I did not want to stretch, because they call it a rest day for a reason…right? Plus, this week had been super chaotic/busy/stressful. And, honestly, taking 10 minutes or so to stretch at the end of the day on a Saturday just might have pushed me over the edge into crazy town. Also, I did at least ice my shins/calves, so that makes up for it (except not really).
I woke up super jazzed this morning at 4:15 and more than ready to kick this 5 mile run’s ass. I didn’t know this prior to my journey of a run this morning, but the last time I ran exactly 5 miles was August 6th…on a treadmill. I’m kind of glad that I didn’t know that fact (or that my average pace that day was 9:14), because I was able to go into this run with a very open mind. And pace. Basically, I just wanted to get through the 5 miles without taking any unnecessary breaks or having really shitty mile splits.
They say the first mile is a “liar.” Well, for me when I’m running outside at least, the first mile pretty much set’s the stage for how the rest of my run is going to go.
However, no amount of effort or positive self talk was going to change the fact that my legs felt incredibly heavy and weak this morning. It was like I was trying to run through extra chunky peanut butter. No pep in my step whatsoever. I honestly was convinced this was a sign from the great beyond that it was too soon to be running 5 miles, and I could have swore that I was going to crap out long before I hit the 5 mile mark. My first mile really wasn’t all that slow, 9:33 pace, but it certainly felt like I was just barely moving. So, naturally things did not go up from there speed wise.
Thankfully, there is basically zero traffic on Sunday mornings, so no one was around to see me struggle. Luckily, I got to see my favorite deer pretty early on, so that gave me some motivation to not give up, and to do my best to run just a little bit faster. The first 3 miles or so actually went by pretty fast. In fact, I didn’t check my watch to see where I was at distance wise until 2.94 miles in. I already knew how I was doing pace wise, so I didn’t even glance at the clock. I got super excited though when I saw a train coming through town. A short 1-2 minute break at the top of the mini hill was just what I needed.
Unfortunately, fate had other plans. Because, that damn train finished right as I got to the top of the hill and pressed pause on my Garmin.
I also have to throw in that this was the first run in like forever that I didn’t listen to my Eric Church playlist, I just put my Ipod on shuffle. SO, I’M NOT SAYING THAT’S THE REASON I SUCKED IT UP PACE WISE…BUT MAYBE IT IS. Anyhow, my loop down main street seemed to take an eternity, and by that point I only had 1 more mile. YES. This was what I had been waiting for all morning long, the part of my run where I could finally push my body to it’s limits without having to worry about being too far from the finish. Game on. Or, maybe not.
9:37. That’s a pretty poor time for a final mile, even for a long as run as today’s. I was soooo beyond pissed when I finished my run this morning and looked over my splits. This is unacceptable I thought, as I staggered towards the gym, soaked and out of breath. HOW COULD I HAVE RUN THIS SLOW. I didn’t even stop to think about the humidity, or how long it had been since I had ran this far. All I cared about in that moment, was that my time was a good 20 seconds slower than I thought it should have been. Heck, the slowest average pace I’ve ran post-injury/in this restricted running phase is a 9:26. Today, my average pace was 9:44.
By some miracle, leg day wasn’t a complete failure.
I got in there, did my thing, and pushed myself as far as seemed safe at this point. I leg pressed 220, which is a good 30+ pounds more than I could do last week. And, I was even able to go super heavy on both front squats and back squats…probably because I was listening to my tried and true Eric Church playlist. I got up to 165 lbs. x 2 on Back squats…with decent from. So, I guess this shitty, sorta slow but also 100% pain free run wasn’t the end of the world. It doesn’t mean I’m in the worst shape of my life.
In fact, I have been telling myself that these fast times can’t last for forever. I’m not stupid, I knew that one day I was going to have a run that was just a tad bit slower than my new “normal.” And, I guess I knew that it was going to leave me feeling defeated/angry/ and doubting all of my progress up until this point. The good news is, I did it. I ran 5 miles without giving up or giving in to that little voice in my head saying you can’t do it. YOU’RE NOT READY. Now, I seriously cannot wait until my next 5 miler on Wednesday. I’m ready for redemption.