That is exactly the words I would use to describe how the majority of my runs/workouts have been going this week.
Monday’s 4 miler and Tuesday’s 5 miler were as close to perfectly paced/decently fast times, that I’ve ran in what feels like an eternity. Tuesday’s run in particular went so well, that it reminded me of what it really feels like to run fast and far(ish) without pain or worry. After two fast and virtually pain free runs in row, I got excited. Hopeful. I felt like finally, after months and months of not so great runs and having to take time off from running, I back to “normal.” Back to running as far as I wanted without holding back, and back to consistently running at 9:25-9:20 mile paces.
I’m not even kidding when I say I could have written a short novel on every aspect of Tuesday’s 5 mile that went right. From the weather, to my attitude, to the song selection. Everything just feel together perfectly and I felt unstoppable. I tied my previous record, for the fastest outdoor 5 mile time since the end of August when I went into injury recovery/rehab mode. Following that running high, I opted to take yesterday off form the gym, because I wanted to be “cautiously optimistic” and avoid re-injury/taking a million steps backwards.
Except, you could certainly argue that I sort of threw all caution to the wind by the time the day was over with.
I did zero point zero stretching or icing. Which, considering I have grown accustomed to icing for 1-2 hours a day+stretch both pre/post workout, was in no way, shape, or form cautious. However, in my mind, since I had managed to get in a 5 mile treadmill walk…that sort of made up for things. Then, came today’s not so stellar run. Because I do not run outdoors in the snow/ice, I have been trying to figure out when exactly to get in a 7-8 mile run this week. Sunday is out for sure, because that’s when the lovely Iowa weather is supposed to get nasty. And, I take Saturday’s off completely from all physical activity.
So, I only have today (Thursday/Thanksgiving) and tomorrow. Today just was not the day to be going that distance, both weather wise and injury wise. My legs felt fine, it was my pelvis that was not at all in shape to run super far, or even as far as I did end up running if I’m being completely honest. I just sorta felt like after taking yesterday off and just walking, I had to and should be physically able to absolutely destroy today’s run. Well, the wind and 4 mile run instead destroyed me (kind of). I knew before I was even 2 miles in that there was no way I would possibly be able to tackle anything near the distance I had originally set out to cover.
I hate to say that I “settled for 4 miles,” but that is exactly what I did and where my head was at this morning.
No amount of great music, positive mantras, or cute dogs was going to be able to compensate for the fact that my pelvis just was not in it today. I admit, I got way to optimistic and over the moon happy with how well everything went at the start of the week. I assumed that one day off from icing+stretching wouldn’t be a big deal. Well, apparently, it was. Now, I can’t really get too upset at running 4 miles at 9:38 pace given how I felt and the windy conditions. At the same time, BOTH of my earlier runs this week were in the 9:25 pace range…so it is a little bit concerning.
So, where does that leave things when it comes to being “cautiously optimistic?” Clearly, I have made leaps and bounds of progress in the last nearly 3 months of injury recovery. I have ran paces and mile times that I though I’d never be able to do again. I’ve ran 8 miles on several occasions (3 time to be exact) without too much trouble or re-injuring myself. I’ve even been able to up my back squat PR to 185 lbs. Taking everything into accountant that has happened over the past 11ish weeks, I am very much optimistic about what the rest of 2018 and 2019 have to offer running and strength wise.
In regards to being cautious, you can bet I will NOT be skipping out on any icing or stretching going forward. And, that I will be taking 2 days rest days each week. One active day filled with just walking and another filled with hours of watching Vampire Diaries on Netflix.