I had to take two weeks off from running due to being busy, travel, weather, and last week, due to having a very bad cold, but I got out there and ran yesterday after work and ended up with my best 3 mile time on that track in a very long time! I know that the three solid weeks of running at high altitude in Pennsylvania has a lot to do with it, but I thought that with two weeks off, it would have negated any improvements I would have otherwise seen if I’d have been able to get right back into running when I got back. What I was able to do yesterday was nothing short of spectacular.
As for how I feel the morning after, I have to admit it’s not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. I’ve got my post-run soreness (which isn’t so bad), but otherwise, I feel great, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be okay for tomorrow’s run. I plan on riding my bike easy today after work, although that’s not yet set in stone. I have been pretty careful about allowing my legs to rest between runs, and since yesterday’s run was the first one in two weeks, it might be wiser to let the ol’ legs rest a bit tonight and maybe start the biking thing between runs after another run or two. We’ll see how I feel after work today.
The biggest victory aside from my stellar pace is the fact that I got out there and got this run in. I really didn’t want to. I was dreading it not only because I’d been out of it for two weeks, but because I was tired. I didn’t sleep enough the night before, and I just didn’t feel like I had the energy. But, I just pushed through and got started anyway. I figured I’d just run it and get it over and done with because I’d feel so much better afterward. I was both wrong and right.
I was wrong in that I was going to just put in a lazy, slow run just to get the run done, but when I started running, I felt fast. I don’t know why, but my legs felt like they needed to RUN. So, run I did. When the pace voice (from my Garmin app) announced my first two-minute split time as 8:05/mile, I was pretty surprised. When she announced my second two-minute split time as 7:30/mil, I was shocked. That motivated me to push it some more and to try to get the best time I could, knowing full well that I hadn’t run in two weeks and that it might hurt.
I was right in that I felt better after the run. My legs felt tired, but they were not painful. My arms after doing my 60 push ups felt remarkably decent, too. I drank a chocolate/coconut water after the run, and I’m pretty sure that the carbs I drink or eat after my last 10 runs or so help me with recovery quite a bit. I’m going to keep up with that.
There are many days where I just don’t want to run, but I do it anyway. Why? Because not running feels worse than the run itself. The hardest thing to get over for me is just starting. Just getting into my running gear is the wall. Once I’m dressed, it’s a few steps to begin, and then I’m good. There are as many reasons available to skip a run as there are stars in the sky. Character is what we are showing when we ignore those reasons and stick to a run for the most important reason of all: our fitness.