If you’re wondering what the title is about, I ran 7 miles this past weekend! That’s a big deal considering our beach vacation the week before turned me into a jelly-like, suburned wad of cookie dough. But let’s start from the beginning.
I packed two running outfits for the 2 nights we’d spend in Atlantic City. I wanted to run on the boardwalk. It would be great practice. BUT. Vacation (and red wine) has a way of sneaking up on you, and I’m sorry to say that the sneakers didn’t even come out of the suitcase the whole time. I know, bad runner! But I have no regrets, because I hit it hard for about 3.5 miles the night we came back and felt pretty good.
Friday I relaxed so that I could run long on Saturday. 7 miles! It was a high, apple-pie-in-the-sky kind of goal, but I didn’t back down. Well, I kind of did when I lazed around too long in the morning and missed my running window before my hair appointment at 11:30am, but I manned up and ran at night. And it was a run. It wasn’t the worst, but it most certainly wasn’t my best either. It was just… a run. Because while my good (right) knee is still achy at times due to runner’s knee, I’m now developing similar pains in my left (ACL) knee too!
You see, for the first mile or so of every run this week, both knees decide to act about 75-80 years older than me. But rather than call the whole thing off at the start of each run like I think I should, I push through every time and have found that with slowing my pace and focusing on my knees, I’m able to get past the pain and correct my form so that it’s not as excruciating as it was last month! So that’s a plus 🙂
Towards the end of mile 5, I started to get those doubts again – “If you can barely finish 7 now, what business do you have taking on 26 in 2 months??” BUT thanks to new positive thinking methods I squashed that thinking pretty quickly, with a promise to take one day – and one run! – at a time. The only way I’m going to be strong enough is by training, and training HARD. But I’ve got it in me. I know I do.
So Sunday I cross trained (the benefits of bumping up my long run to Saturday: an extra day of cross training!) with my Bosu ball, and let me tell you – that stuff is no joke! I took it easier on the squats because of my tender knees but didn’t skip anything, and I’m still feeling it in my core today!
And apparently I love bright colors.
Monday and Tuesday I went right back into running mode and I’m finally feeling ready to call myself a “runner” once again.
After 3 sweaty miles with some new on Tuesday night, I iced and prepped for a second straight day of running, which I haven’t done in almost 3 months. I wanted to baby my knees but now that I’m getting more confident in my form and the rest of my leg strength, I’m going to give it a shot. After all, I can’t build up my mileage base without actually putting on the miles. it’s time to shut up and nut up!
My 4 miles yesterday though? Were a total suckfest. I tried a new approach and went while it was still light out, before dinner. The last few weeks of running at night after dinner have been a bit of a struggle – I always rush into the run, trying to beat the sunset to get the miles in but my pace has suffered because I’m still digesting.
The result of this new approach was 4 hot, sticky miles of UGH. I walked a few times, and even had to stop to take off my calf sleeves because they were cramping up my legs (maybe they were too tight? anyone else experience this wtf moment?), and I legitimately fantasized for all 4 miles about a dog at the park breaking off of its leash and mauling me and giving me an excuse to lay down and stop running. It was THAT bad.
I AM smiling.
So imagine my surprise when I finally made it to mile 4 and stopped my Garmin: I had clocked an even 12 minute mile all 4 miles! I haven’t seen pacing like that on a run over 2 miles since May!! WTF? Even though I felt like dying the whole time, I still managed to eke out one of my best times in 3 months.
You know, every time I think I understand this running thing, it pitches me another curveball like this. And that makes me love it even more. I can’t wait to see where it takes me next!