Saturday, May 21, 2011

Will a 30-minute run ever feel "easy?"

This turned out to be a four-run week, as I expected.  I ran again on Thursday, this time doing 2.6 miles in about 30 minutes, an 11:32 pace.  When I look back on Wednesday's run, I think I was actually closer to this distance and time, and just mis-mapped it.  So there's no excuse for me being tired after all!

The run felt pretty good, although I must admit that my legs are really killing me lately.  I don't know if it's that I ran 2.6-ish miles two days and walked another three miles both days, or if it was the travel, or what, but my legs were really sore on Friday.

Fortunately, they haven't been jittery like I've had in the past, but they are really sore.  Despite that, I knew I wanted to run today, so I forced myself to head out - it was warmer and really humid today, so going for a run at 11:30 wasn't the best time.  Now that it's heating up, I'm going to have to start running much earlier.  You may know that I'm really not a fan of getting up early, but I found that even with legs that feel dead, I'm starting to *need* to run.  (When did THAT happen!?!?)

So anyway, I drove to a local park with a small pond and ran for thirty minutes again.  I did five laps around what turned out to be a 0.54 mile path, giving me a 2.7 mile run.  I was at an 11:14 pace, so I am running slow (I need to speed up!).

I'm also seeing how much of my running struggles are mental.  On Tuesday, I really didn't believe I could make the thirty minutes.  And I didn't.  But on Wednesday, I just decided I would. And I did.  There was nothing majorly different between the two days or how my body was feeling - it was all mental.

Thursday was the same - I knew I'd run thirty minutes the day before, so why couldn't I do it again? And today, I started out the run feeling really sore - my knees hurt, my hips hurt, my right calf hurt...but I was determined to get the full thirty minutes in, and I did.  That felt great, even if I've felt sore the rest of the day!

I'm not sure why I'm so tired and sore, and I'm hoping that someday, a thirty minute run will feel like an "easy" run.  I think I just need to keep at it, and keep pushing myself and we'll see how it goes! Tomorrow is definitely a recovery day and then Monday I should be back to my regularly scheduled running at home!

I've also decided to add in some real yoga practices (I've been doing some stretching and light yoga, but I need to really push that).  It's a great counter-workout to running, and my legs could use some better stretching.  A friend suggested just giving myself two days a week to start with when I have to do the yoga (and at a set-aside time) and just committing to it, and I think that method will work best for me.  So I'll say it here - Tuesdays and Thursdays will be my yoga days and let's see if that helps my running aches!

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