I had every intention of running Monday/Wednesday/Thursday/Saturday this week, but after pushing my body a bit too hard last week, with disappointing results, an ever-worsening pinched nerve in my neck, and waking up feeling like I was getting the swine flu on Monday morning, I thought it was about time to skip a run. My body was rebelling, telling me that I needed a break - no running, no yoga, just lots and lots of rest. And I felt yucky enough that I didn't even feel guilty about skipping the run.
On Tuesday, I thought about running and giving myself an every-other-day schedule for the rest of the week, but I was still not feeling great. So I thought I'd stick to the original plan (minus the Monday run) and hoped that a full three days off would get me back in fighting shape.
I woke up this morning and felt like I'd been run over. My neck was sore, which it usually is first thing in the morning lately, and what I thought was the flu is actually periocornitis, which is a fancy way of saying that the gums around one of my wisdom teeth are infected (which makes me feel like I have a sore throat). I had this confirmed this morning at the dentist, who put me on antibiotics and said he didn't think I needed to have my teeth removed. Sweet.
As the day wore on, I felt a little bit better and decided that I needed to run. As you may remember from the last time I had three consecutive days off, too much time off from running can wreak havoc on my mind. So I knew that if I wanted to get back to it, today was the day. And it's perfect running weather today too - overcast, but with some sun, no humidity, 66 degrees. Just enough to get a chill as I set out in my shorts and tee shirt, which was a good sign for the run.
The first mile was tough, showing me that even three days off can hurt me a little in terms of endurance. I was pushing myself to keep a good pace today, because I want to be down around ten minutes again - I do have that 10k coming up after all! My body felt pretty good - I struggled to find my pace a bit right in the beginning, but once I got settled, I could tell that last week's residual soreness was mostly gone. So though 3 days off hurt me in some ways, I think it helped to let my body recover and remind me why I actually like running!
Miles 2 and 3 were the best - I felt pretty good, there was a nice breeze to keep me cool, and I knew I'd hit close to 2 miles by the halfway mark, which is where I'd hoped to be. Once I reached that last mile though, I was definitely feeling tired. But since I had let myself rest for three days, I wasn't going to take it easy today. I pushed myself to keep up the pace for that last mile and finished where I'd started just a little bit slow, at 40:30. I mapped my run, and it was 3.97 miles, so a 10:11 minute pace. I'm definitely happy with that after three days off! Actually, I'd be happy with that period.
Tomorrow is supposed to be a 35 minute run, but Coach J says to see how I'm feeling and maybe do Friday and Saturday back-to-back instead of today and tomorrow. If I can keep up close to a ten minute pace, I might actually hit almost five miles on Saturday, which would be awesome! But, one day at a time, right?