BIRTHDAY RUN // NO PAIN, NO GAIN...RIGHT?!
I celebrated turning 23 yesterday quite a bit differently than I did turning 22 last year.
Last year, I was on spring break from college and ran 9 miles outside. I was also like 1 month post break up and an emotional mess. This year, I’m still a little bit of an emotional mess and convinced I would give anything to be able to run outside (although definitely not anywhere close to 9 miles, yikes!). Yesterday, I struggled just to run 3 miles at 9:42 pace. My shins and calves were working against me the entire time. Despite that, I still had a good workout and enjoyed the day quite a bit overall. In fact, I was so busy celebrating the fact that I am 1 whole year closer to 30 that I almost forgot about how much I miss running outside and being in pain for like 90% of my runs.
Then, I got up at 4 a.m. today and remembered exactly what it felt like to get through a workout/run with the “no pain, no gain” mentality. It started out simple enough, with the goal to run 5 miles. No goal pace or any unrealistic expectations; just a drive to run a semi long distance while jamming out to Maren Morris’s latest album GIRL. By the time I hit 3 miles, I knew something was up. I just didn’t feel quite right. My pace was fine, and I felt like I had the endurance and cardiovascular strength to go on for several more miles. However, my pelvis was just like, “NOPE. NOT TODAY.” which is super weird and out of the blue and seems completely unfair.
Treadmill running is supposed to be safe. Treadmill running is supposed to help you avoid and prevent injury. I HAVE NOT RAN A SINGLE MILE OUTSIDE SINCE JANUARY 11TH, 2019.
Yet, here I was over halfway through what was supposed to be a 5 miler run, panicking that I was headed right back to being injured and sidelined from running for the umpteenth time. Since I was already over 3 miles, I decided (stupidly) to just trudge ahead and re-evaluate things at the 4 mile mark. By the time I was at 3.70 miles…I knew 4 miles was going to be my limit. Mentally, I so wanted to go the extra mile this morning, but physically…I just could not do it.
Following that slow, casual, tragic 4 miler I did what any sane person would do…I trained legs for 90 minutes and spent the entire lift just looking for the pain to come back and knock me off my feet. I just knew that it had to happen at some point. Between squats, hip abduction/adduction machines, and all my core exercises; at some point something was going to go wrong and all of a sudden it would be all pain, no gain. By some miracle, that moment and intense rush of pain never came. I got through the workout just fine, and was able to back squat 100 lbs. for 10 reps and barbell row 95 pound for 10 reps as well.
Now, you can bet that I am going to be extra cautious for the rest of this week. I’m talking, slowing down at the slightest sign of anything off, and icing my legs around the clock. Because, at the end of the day, I’ll take slower or eve no gains over intense (possibly injury related) pain that is going to put me back on team power walking. I cannot and will not have my first outdoor run turn into an outdoor walk from my house to the gym. NO. WAY.