GETTING BACK UP // 6 MILES + A BRUTAL LEG DAY
It’s never really a “good” idea to leave your longest run of the week for Sunday.
Mainly, because it means the entire success/failure of your week hinges on just how well that one run goes. At least, that’s how I tend to look at things. Also, there is no I’ll just run 50-75% of the planned distance and make it up another day. Nope. You just have to suck it up and run the distance…even if you’re not running at 100%. Here is a play by play of exactly how it feels to run the miles, when your heart, mind, and body aren’t 100% in it.
Right off the bat, I was feeling pretty confident. The weather was on point, my music was on point, and I was determined to make my first 6 miler of 2019 a run to remember. I started off pretty darn fast, but still cautious of any remaining slicks spots. In fact, I was running at a comfortably fast pace, cruising towards the 1 mile mark, when things suddenly slowed way down. Like, stop, drop, and hit the pavement. Hard. Now, my initial reaction was a mixture of panic and anger. I was panicked that I had re-injured something and set myself back several months of progress to get to the point of running pain free. And, naturally, I was pissed at myself for falling in the first place…especially when I had a good 5+miles left to go.
It would have been so easy to let this one minor inconvenience, set me back big time.
I could have just laid in the middle of the road for several minutes, upset by how uneven and not runner friendly a lot of the roads/sidewalks are in town. I could have burst into tear and just given up on the run right then and there. Instead, I chose to hop right back up and start running. I hadn’t even more down, and immobile for long enough for my Garmin watch to automatically pause. As much as starting back up at a slower, more relaxed pace seemed appealing…I just couldn’t do that.
It wasn’t until I got to about the 3 mile mark that I noticed just how off I felt, several miles after that not so fun battle with gravity. I didn’t have a huge amount of pain or anything, I just felt stiff and like I was having to put in extra effort to maintain the “easy” pace from those first few blocks. No biggie, though. I reminded myself that this run was just a bench mark. An opportunity for me to do my best over the course of 6 miles, and then improve upon that time as the weeks go by.
By the time I was 4.5 miles in, all I wanted was to sit down somewhere, catch my breath, and convince myself that going back to running 6x per week next week was a GREAT idea.
The remaining 1.5 mile that I had left to go seemed way too far away. And, the thought of having to get through a 90 minute leg day post run wasn’t making things any easier. Two short laps later, at a much slower pace than my mile 1 time of 9:25…and I was done. I was honestly just happy to have ran the miles in under an hour, and convinced myself as I dragged my feet towards the gym that there was no way I had re-injured myself. I mean, if I had, there is no way I would have been able to physically finish the entire 6 mile run…right?!?
I was hesitant to put in my normal 110% during today’s leg day. Even though leg day is by far my favorite day of the week and my legs are like a thousand times stronger than my upper body. Still, I had the drive and determination to lift as much weight as physically possible. So, when I was able to back squat 175 pounds for 4 reps, I decided I just had to go for a new PR at 195 pounds. I felt fine, was jamming out to my favorite workout playlist, and had my lifting belt on as tight as it would go.
195 pounds doesn’t sound like that much weight, especially given the fact that I can leg press 260 pounds with no problem. However, when all that weight is sitting on your back and your entire body is shaking underneath the bar…it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. And, suddenly squatting without a spotter seems like it actually isn’t such a good idea after all. Regardless, I was able to back squat the weight for 1 rep without wiping out.
The 30-35 mile weeks of the past are just around the corner, you can count on that!
I have been on this whole only lifting and running 5 times per week for 2 months now. And, I feel ready to add in an extra day of just running. Lately, I’ve been running 20-22 miles a week. While I’m not saying that mileage isn’t an accomplishment, it is far less than am used and know I am currently capable of. So, I’m aiming to get somewhere around 25 miles in next week, and then slowly increase things from there. I know it won’t be easy, but, it will be worth it!
Here’s to getting back up, no matter what or who knocks you down, and making 2019 your best year yet! And, you know, getting outside of your comfort zone and trying to be social from time to time.