POST LEG DAY HANGOVER // S L O W 6 MILER
Yesterday, I ran my fastest 5 mile time in over 2 months.
My legs also felt like absolute trash for almost the entire run. In hindsight, I did have a pretty intense high volume/low weight leg day on Tuesday. So, I guess it makes sense that my legs weren’t in the mood to set any PRs or run super fast. I knew right from the get go that it was going to be a good run (at least musically) when ‘Church Bells’ by Carrie Underwood was the first song to come blaring through my ear buds. Those first few miles went by in a blur, and before I knew it mile 3 was hitting me like a ton of bricks.
I wasn’t exhausted or out of breath. I wasn’t in pain or hacking my lungs out either. I was just struggling to find my rhythm pace wise. I felt like it didn’t matter how much effort I put in, how hard I pumped my arms/tried to run tall and with good form…I was getting no where fast. Of course, this was the perfect time for some musical motivation. A super fast upbeat, positive song. Maybe something by Kelly Clarkson or Maren Morris. Nope. ‘Cry Pretty’ by Carrie Underwood came on, and at that point, crying seemed completely appropriate.
Every runner knows that bad runs are part of the journey.
They don’t mean you’re a terrible runner or not putting in enough effort. And, sometimes it’s all in your head. Yesterday, that was clearly the case. Because, I somehow pulled it together during those last 1.25 miles and managed to run my last mile in 9 minutes and 18 seconds. Still, it wasn’t that sub 47 minute 5 mile time that I was looking for. However, rather than dwelling on things, I reminded myself that the next day’s (today’s) 6 mile run was bound to be way faster and WAY more fun. My leg would recover and I would certainly have more pep in my step.
Well, for once in my life (or perhaps the thousandth time this year) I was wrong. Very wrong. This mornings run was an absolute disaster. Not a failure, because I did run the distance in an okay time without tripping over my own feet, taking any breaks, or getting run over. But, definitely not what I was expecting when I took off to one of my favorite songs by Maren Morris, “Just Another Thing” at 5:21 a.m. I hadn’t even finished lap 1 before I was highly considering cutting this run in half.
I mean, 3 miles is better than no miles…right? That was my mindset when I was struggling to keep going, when I felt myself begin to lose faith in myself as a runner. The second “bad” run in a row. The second of three longs runs this week. What on earth would this mean for my 7-8 mile long run on Sunday? With each step I took, I alternated between reminding myself how great it was that I was just out here pounding the pavement, giving it my all…and telling myself that this was clearly a sign that I was heading back down injury road. Over training to cope with life’s many stressors.
Step by step, I could feel my mask slipping. My emotions that I normally keep hidden while running, rising to surface level.
I just didn’t have it in me this morning to pretend that I was having the time of my life. To find the positive in things. To just be grateful that I was physically able to run without any intense pain. By that final mile, I felt like I had been running around in circle for years. I wasn’t sure if I could make it to the 6 mile mark, but I knew I had to try. Screw paces and pr’s and running with perfect form. I needed this run. I needed to show myself what I was capable of, even I was riding front row on the struggle bus.
My last mile was my slowest mile. That almost never happens. My total time was 50 seconds slower than last week’s 6 mile time. I’m not quite sure what to make of this. On the one hand, it could just be DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) from that intense leg day on Tuesday. It could also be that it is just taking my body awhile to adjust to running in this cooler temperatures. There is also the scary possibility that I overdid it by running 8 miles 2 Sundays in a row and that my entire lower body is on it’s way to popping every joint out of place and straining every muscle.
It’s a scary possibility to consider, especially given that my pelvis hurt today post run while I was walking on the treadmill every time I had to cough. Not from the actual incline walking itself, but the coughing. What this mean for my running going forward is a mystery. What I do know, is that I need to work on not getting frustrated mid run when things aren’t going my way. Getting upset/slightly disappointed post run when I see my splits and average pace, sure. That’s totally acceptable. But, freaking out in the first few miles of a long run is not okay. Period.