When the legs scream no!

This morning I finally felt the effects of all the hard training, lack of sleep, weird food and high mileage. I had a 9 mile run with 5 at LT pace scheduled and was excited to get out the door. The weather is absolutely perfect for running right now, I’m in a good mood a lot of the time these days and I felt ready to hit the ground running (literally). My right hamstring and IT band had been bugging me yesterday and my legs felt tired from lots of standing around this weekend but it didn’t seem too serious.

Needless to say, the 5 miles of tempo pace didn’t happen. Well, 1 of them did, but after that I knocked it down to marathon pace and then finally just ran easy. I still ran 10 miles this morning, just more slowly than I should have. But it’s fine. My stomach felt awful, my legs hurt in a number of places and it was clear that fast-ness wasn’t on the agenda today. I think a number of things contributed to my dead-leg feelings:

1. I’ve been eating in weird places (aka restaurants) and probably not enough to fuel mileage in the 50s. Don’t worry, I eat, but I probably need to be more mindful about snacking.
2. I’ve spent a ton of time on my feet on top of my running which is new and different. Contributes to the tiredness.
3. I’ve been running really hard the last couple of weeks. That was inevitably going to catch up to me and fatigue my legs at some point.

So all of this is fine with me. It’s nice having a little more experience with hard training– I know that one bad workout isn’t the end of the world and can actually look at the big picture and see why. The other thing that experience has taught me is how to listen to my body. There are days I’m just being lazy and need to force myself to work harder– today was not that day. I could tell that my muscles and ligaments needed a break from running hard and that if I forced it I’d probably end up throwing up on the side of the road with a pulled hamstring. Not cool.

It’s always hard on my ego and work ethic to wimp out on a workout. I don’t like to do it, but I also don’t regret chilling out a little. Once I made the decision to stop forcing a workout that wasn’t happening, I had a perfectly nice run. The sunrise was insanely beautiful, the temperatures were perfect and I ran through one of my favorite neighborhoods that was full of other runners, bikers and walkers taking advantage of the nice weather.

I’ll run easy tomorrow and hope for a better run on Thursday. And even then, it’s cool if it’s not super fast. It’s not going to affect the big picture anyway.

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4 responses to “When the legs scream no!

  1. AWESOME attitude and analysis! I can really see how much you’ve learned about your body and your running drive from all your training over time. How great, right? To know you’ve got it, and it’s just a rest day or a bad run and you just do it and move on?

    Great job still getting 10 miles in….sheesh, girl, you are a running MACHINE ♥ I loves it!

  2. You have a great attitude! All runs can’t be perfect, our bodies are telling us things all the time though our brains want something different. Good for you for listening! Great job with the 10 and keep being strong!

  3. You rock. I thought of you during my track workout this morning and pushed myself EXTRA hard even though I only had 6 hours of sleep (which isn’t a lot for this 8-9 hour girl!) I *almost* puked but not quite. Guess I’m not that hardcore, yet 😉

  4. Good decision. Marathon training is all about running when you’re tired, but sometimes you can’t force it.

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