(Actually, she didn't say that. She was usually all "how many days have you wore those underwear?? did you brush your teeth today?? You smell." Ahhh, family bonding. Those were the good ol days.)
My running this week has been a lot like the road to the left: Glorious cruising speed on the downhills, painful soul crushing struggles on the uphills. So, either way...I'm getting CRUSHED. For some reason my body just hasn't acclimated itself to all of the punishment that running provides. A quick blow by blow:
On Tuesday, I had a kick-ass Tempo run. 6 miles, 4 at tempo pace (7:08/mile). Everything just clicked. It was one of those runs where I wished that I had more time to crank out some more miles. Or, actually it was one of those runs where I really wished that I was running in a race. I certainly could have cleared 42 min or so for a 10k.
But, on Wednesday, things were NOT treating me right. I had 3 miles at normal recovery pace planned and it was a struggle from the start to get them done. When the running gods giveth a awesome tempo run, they certainly also giveth a kick in the nuts. This run felt like a kick in the nuts - only to my shins. It wasn't necessarily full blown shin splints - instead the pain was dull and all through my legs. Blah. I grunted and groaned more than an old man doing yard work and even got a few strange looks as I worked to crank out the miles.
This morning, Thursday, I had another bought with shin pain/aches. Same discomfort this morning. It was sort of a combination of cement legs and the kind of ache you get from lifting a lot of weights. The pain wasn't nearly as bad this time - so I was able to get out a solid 400 and 800 repeat each at 6:22 pace. I had 5 or 6 miles on the schedule so in an effort to 'listen to my body' I only did 4.
As I was standing in the shower this morning
(drink in the mental snap shot) contemplating life, Obama's health care plan, Ryan Seacrest's hair, and my runs over the last two days, I realized that: This IS running. Honestly, running wouldn't be as fun if it was all gum drops and lollipops. Nobody likes a yes man and I think nobody (at least not me) would like running if it was always easy. So the saying goes "you can't appreciate the good days without the bad ones".
The fact that bad runs exist serve two very important (self serving) purposes:
- I have stuff to write about on my blog. You know those YouTubes of the guys getting hit in the nuts with soccer balls? yeah, I love to watch them too. And I love to read about people having crappy runs (I can admit it). I try to take their experiences and learn from them, and give them encouragement that the next run will be better (because it will!!!!), but honestly it is a little bit like rubber-necking at a train wreck. Everyone does it.
- I get to hear my friends say things like "I don't know how in the hell you run that far, I can't run a mile!". To which I ALWAYS respond - of course you can, it just takes time and motivation to do it. Which, for the record, I 100% believe - but it never gets old hearing.
So, what did I conclude during my 20 minute shower? First, there is no way that I could get my hair to look like Seacrest's. I can't bring myself to even think about a flat iron. Second, I'm going to pull back the intensity a bit, but keep on plugging away. Because that is what runners do. The running gods will stop kicking me in the nuts sooner or later - hopefully during a race. Besides, if not it will sure make for good blog reading.