Running Ragged

Lately I’ve really had to force myself to do my run. It’s just so exhausting! Not the runs themselves – though obviously they’re tiring – but the entire routine: Making sure my running clothes are clean; figuring out a route (often this is the most difficult part); planning a time in my day to go that coordinates with the rest of my life; the actual run; recovering; showering… repeat.

Tuesday I worked too late to get my run in before Kung Fu. I didn’t really feel like it anyway, and there’s a little give in my schedule since Friday is a rest day: I just moved the rest day to Tuesday and pushed the three mid-week runs back one day.

Which meant that yesterday was a 5-mile run. I worked late again, then met with a painter about the possibility of having the exterior of our house painted (so exciting!), and then all of a sudden it was 7:30. And I was tired. And it was getting dark.

It took everything I had to get out there. I decided to do two laps of an easy 2.5-mile route I like. Once I was committed and actually doing it, it felt good. I felt like I was running pretty fast (comparatively speaking), and I didn’t get tired as quickly either. This was particularly good news considering the run before this was so disappointing.

I did get tired, though, and when I finished the first lap I briefly considered not doing the second. Barring an injury or other emergency (knock on wood) I don’t think I’ll ever do that though. I’d beat myself up about it forever. I know myself too well.

So I finished my planned route. I really felt like I was moving quicker than usual the entire time. That’s may be why with just a mile to go I got the worst cramp ever. I get cramps, but not like this one. This was a sharp, debilitating pain. I wanted to gouge my eye out, but instead I tried all the usual tricks: Inhaling on left steps; raising right arm over head; shoving fist into it. Nothing really worked. The fist thing helped a little, but I had to walk a few minutes here and there in that last mile. Annoying, but there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. The pain wasn’t there when I walked, and made me want to hurl when I ran.

After a minute or two of walking with my fist shoved under my ribs, the pain subsided enough to finish the last mile at a run. Even with that little bit of walking, I still felt like this would be a fast run for me overall – I thought at the very least it would be under an hour, which is standard. Longer than an hour for five miles is much slower than my typical pace.

I’m sure you can imagine my dismay, then, when I arrived home to see that it had been an hour and eight minutes. What the what?!

Un-freaking-believable. Apparently, I’m so slow that even when I feel like I’m going fast, I’m basically crawling.

Or so I thought.

When I logged into runstoppable to record my run, I found that I had mistakenly run a 3.08-mile route twice, instead of a 2.5-mile route twice. So I did 6.16-miles in 1:08:ish, which is roughly an 11-minute per mile pace, which IS fast for me… at least when running the hills outside – and 6 miles of them!

I can’t believe I accidentally ran 6 miles when I was dreading 5. That’s pretty awesome.

Today was tough too. Again, so tired. I had to force myself to run, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it outside in the cold rain. But again, it was an awesome run: Three miles in UNDER THIRTY MINUTES. 29:15, to be exact. That means I sustained a less than 10-minute per mile pace for three miles! Woo hoo! (Obviously running on the treadmill is easier than running outside, but why split hairs?)

I’m so glad that my last two runs have been so good. I needed some positivity since I’ve been feeling a little burned out. If I’m forcing myself to go and not enjoying it once I do, I’ve got a problem. But just like when I don’t feel like going to Kung Fu – or any other workout, for that matter – afterward, I’m always glad that I pushed myself to do it.

That means it’s just a matter of lethargy, and that can be beaten. The old me would have given in when she was tired and just stayed on the couch. (That is, if the old me even considered working out in the first place, which she rarely did.)

I like the new me a lot better. Even if it is exhausting.

4 Responses to “Running Ragged”

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  3. jord_05 Says:

    Sometimes it is hard to get yourself out there. Good for you for sticking with it! Do you do any core workouts? I had problems with side cramps until I started doing them. http://runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-2… This is the one that I've been doing & I can definitely feel a difference in my runs (and deluding myself into believing I can see a difference in my abs ;) )

  4. Kimberly Says:

    Hmm – I'd *like* to say that I do core workouts, but that's probably not true. I used to do some stuff, but have gotten away from it. I'll definitely check out that article (LOVE Runner's World!) Anything that will prevent that pain again is worth a shot! Thanks :)