Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Yes, I Took Three Days Off

You know what they say about the best laid plans...

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?


  1. This cartoon is exactly how I feel everyday. Man I need to get in shape again. You inspire me and if I wasn't so damn tired I would get going!

  2. You'll get there! There were a bunch of ladies with their jogging strollers and babies competing in the 5k. It obviously slowed them down, but they still did it! Maybe once you're done with work and Keaton is sleeping a bit more regularly, you can get out there too!

    And I should mention that Coach J actually said I should do Friday/Sunday, not Friday/Saturday.